Gary Jonathan Bassell

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Fragile X syndrome is the most common inherited form of cognitive deficiency in humans and perhaps the best-understood single cause of autism. A trinucleotide repeat expansion, inactivating the X-linked FMR1 gene, leads to the absence of the fragile X mental retardation protein. FMRP is a selective RNA-binding protein that regulates the local translation of(More)
Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive disorder in humans which results in the loss of motor neurons. It is caused by reduced levels of the survival motor neuron (SMN) protein as a result of loss or mutation of the SMN1 gene. SMN is encoded by two genes, SMN1 and SMN2, which essentially differ by a single nucleotide in exon 7. As a result,(More)
Sorting of RNAs to specific subcellular loci occurs in diverse settings from fly oocytes to mammalian neurons. Using the membrane-permeable nucleic acid stain SYTO 14, we directly visualized the translocation of endogenous RNA in living cells. Labeled RNA was distributed nonrandomly as discrete granules in neuronal processes. The labeled granules(More)
Fragile X syndrome, a common form of inherited mental retardation, is caused by the loss of fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP), an mRNA binding protein that is hypothesized to regulate local mRNA translation in dendrites downstream of gp1 metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs). However, specific FMRP-associated mRNAs that localize to dendrites(More)
Neurotrophin regulation of actin-dependent changes in growth cone motility may depend on the signaling of beta-actin mRNA transport. Formation of an RNP complex between the beta-actin mRNA zipcode sequence and Zipcode Binding Protein 1 (ZBP1) was required for its localization to growth cones. Antisense oligonucleotides to the zipcode inhibited formation of(More)
The function of local protein synthesis in synaptic plasticity and its dysregulation in fragile X syndrome (FXS) is well studied, however the contribution of regulated mRNA transport to this function remains unclear. We report a function for the fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) in the rapid, activity-regulated transport of mRNAs important for(More)
Axon pathfinding requires directional responses of growth cones to extracellular cues, which have been shown to involve local synthesis of protein. The identity and functions of the locally produced proteins remain, however, unclear. Here we report that Ca(2+)-dependent bidirectional turning of Xenopus laevis growth cones requires localized distribution and(More)
Localization of beta-actin messenger RNA to sites of active actin polymerization modulates cell migration during embryogenesis, differentiation and possibly carcinogenesis. This localization requires the oncofetal protein ZBP1 (Zipcode binding protein 1), which binds to a conserved 54-nucleotide element in the 3'-untranslated region of the beta-actin mRNA(More)
The transport of mRNAs into developing dendrites and axons may be a basic mechanism to localize cytoskeletal proteins to growth cones and influence microfilament organization. Using isoform-specific antibodies and probes for in situ hybridization, we observed distinct localization patterns for beta- and gamma-actin within cultured cerebrocortical neurons.(More)
Fragile X syndrome is caused by the absence of the mRNA-binding protein Fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP), which may play a role in activity-regulated localization and translation of mRNA in dendrites and at synapses. We investigated whether neuronal activity and glutamatergic signals regulate trafficking of FMRP and its encoding Fmr1 mRNA into(More)