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Neural stem cells exist in the developing and adult nervous systems of all mammals, but the basic mechanisms that control their behavior are not yet well understood. Here, we investigated the role of Sonic hedgehog (Shh), a factor vital for neural development, in regulating adult hippocampal neural stem cells. We found high expression of the Shh receptor(More)
HIV-1 Tat transactivation is vital for completion of the viral life cycle and has been implicated in determining proviral latency. We present an extensive experimental/computational study of an HIV-1 model vector (LTR-GFP-IRES-Tat) and show that stochastic fluctuations in Tat influence the viral latency decision. Low GFP/Tat expression was found to generate(More)
We report an optogenetic method based on Arabidopsis thaliana cryptochrome 2 for rapid and reversible protein oligomerization in response to blue light. We demonstrated its utility by photoactivating the β-catenin pathway, achieving a transcriptional response higher than that obtained with the natural ligand Wnt3a. We also demonstrated the modularity of(More)
Delivery of therapeutic genes to a large region of the retina with minimal damage from intraocular surgery is a central goal of treatment for retinal degenerations. Recent studies have shown that AAV9 can reach the central nervous system (CNS) and retina when administered systemically to neonates, which is a promising strategy for some retinal diseases. We(More)
Although biochemical signals that modulate stem cell self-renewal and differentiation were extensively studied, only recently were the mechanical properties of a stem cell's microenvironment shown to regulate its behavior. It would be desirable to have independent control over biochemical and mechanical cues, to analyze their relative and combined effects(More)
The phosphoinositide 3-OH kinase (PI3K)/Akt pathway has been implicated in regulating several important cellular processes, including apoptosis, survival, proliferation, and metabolism. Using both pharmacological and genetic means, we demonstrate here that PI3K/Akt plays a crucial role in the proliferation of adult hippocampal neural progenitor cells.(More)
Adeno-associated viral vectors are highly safe and efficient gene delivery vehicles. However, numerous challenges in vector design remain, including neutralizing antibody responses, tissue transport and infection of resistant cell types. Changes must be made to the viral capsid to overcome these problems; however, very often insufficient information is(More)
Mammalian gene expression patterns, and their variability across populations of cells, are regulated by factors specific to each gene in concert with its surrounding cellular and genomic environment. Lentiviruses such as HIV integrate their genomes into semi-random genomic locations in the cells they infect, and the resulting viral gene expression provides(More)
Muscle stem (satellite) cells are relatively resistant to cell-autonomous aging. Instead, their endogenous signaling profile and regenerative capacity is strongly influenced by the aged P-Smad3, differentiated niche, and by the aged circulation. With respect to muscle fibers, we previously established that a shift from active Notch to excessive transforming(More)
Sonic hedgehog (Shh) controls critical cellular decisions between distinct fates in many systems, particularly in stem cells. The Shh network functions as a genetic switch, and we have theoretically and computationally analyzed how its structure can endow it with the ability to switch fate choices at a threshold Shh concentration. The network is composed of(More)