Gerald B. Downes

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The anatomy of the developing zebrafish spinal cord is relatively simple but, despite this simplicity, it generates a sequence of three patterns of locomotive behaviors. The first behavior exhibited is spontaneous movement, then touch-evoked coiling, and finally swimming. Previous studies in zebrafish have suggested that spontaneous movements occur(More)
Bilateral alternation of muscle contractions requires reciprocal inhibition between the two sides of the hindbrain and spinal cord, and disruption of this inhibition should lead to simultaneous activation of bilateral muscles. At 1 day after fertilization, wild-type zebrafish respond to mechanosensory stimulation with multiple fast alternating trunk(More)
The enzyme acetylcholinesterase (AChE) terminates synaptic transmission at cholinergic synapses by hydrolyzing the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. In addition, AChE is thought to play several 'non-classical' roles that do not require catalytic function. Most prominent among these is facilitation of neurite growth. Here, we report that the zebrafish(More)
The vast majority of signalling pathways in mammalian cells are mediated by heterotrimeric (alpha betagamma) G proteins. Reviewed here is regulation of signal transduction by the betagamma complex at different protein interfaces: subunit-subunit, receptor-G protein and G protein-effector. The role of diverse beta and gamma subunit types in achieving(More)
Analysis of zebrafish mutants that have defects in motor behavior can allow entrée into the hindbrain and spinal cord networks that control locomotion. Here, we report that zebrafish techno trousers (tnt) locomotor mutants harbor a mutation in slc1a2b, which encodes Eaat2b, a plasma membrane glutamate transporter. We used tnt mutants to explore the effects(More)
Peripheral neuropathy is a common side effect of a number of pharmaceutical compounds, including several chemotherapy drugs. Among these are vincristine sulfate, a mitotic inhibitor used to treat a variety of leukemias, lymphomas, and other cancers, and bortezomib, a 26S proteasome inhibitor used primarily to treat relapsed multiple myeloma and mantle cell(More)
Zebrafish embryos demonstrate robust swimming behavior, which consists of smooth, alternating body bends. In contrast, several motility mutants have been identified that perform sustained, bilateral trunk muscle contractions which result in abnormal body shortening. Unlike most of these mutants, accordion (acc)(dta5) demonstrates a semidominant effect:(More)
Proper functioning of the vertebrate central nervous system requires the precise positioning of many neuronal cell types. This positioning is established during early embryogenesis when gene regulatory networks pattern the neural tube along its anteroposterior and dorsoventral axes. Dorsoventral patterning of the embryonic neural tube gives rise to multiple(More)
The formation and function of synapses are tightly orchestrated by the precise timing of expression of specific molecules during development. In this study, we determined how manipulating the timing of expression of postsynaptic acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) impacts presynaptic release by establishing a genetically engineered zebrafish line in which we(More)