Gerardo A. Morfini

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Many mutations confer one or more toxic function(s) on copper/zinc superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) that impair motor neuron viability and cause familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (FALS). Using a conformation-specific antibody that detects misfolded SOD1 (C4F6), we found that oxidized wild-type SOD1 and mutant SOD1 share a conformational epitope that is(More)
Reelin is a large secreted protein that controls cortical layering by signaling through the very low density lipoprotein receptor and apolipoprotein E receptor 2, thereby inducing tyrosine phosphorylation of the adaptor protein Disabled-1 (Dab1) and suppressing tau phosphorylation in vivo. Here we show that binding of Reelin to these receptors stimulates(More)
Membrane-bounded organelles (MBOs) are delivered to different domains in neurons by fast axonal transport. The importance of kinesin for fast antero grade transport is well established, but mechanisms for regulating kinesin-based motility are largely unknown. In this report, we provide biochemical and in vivo evidence that kinesin light chains (KLCs)(More)
Neuronal transmission of information requires polarized distribution of membrane proteins within axonal compartments. Membrane proteins are synthesized and packaged in membrane-bounded organelles (MBOs) in neuronal cell bodies and later transported to axons by microtubule-dependent motor proteins. Molecular mechanisms underlying targeted delivery of MBOs to(More)
Parkinson's disease (PD), a late-onset condition characterized by dysfunction and loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra, has both sporadic and neurotoxic forms. Neurotoxins such as 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine and its metabolite 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+) induce PD symptoms and recapitulate major pathological hallmarks(More)
Adult-onset neurodegenerative diseases (AONDs) comprise a heterogeneous group of neurological disorders characterized by a progressive, age-dependent decline in neuronal function and loss of selected neuronal populations. Alterations in synaptic function and axonal connectivity represent early and critical pathogenic events in AONDs, but molecular(More)
Cultures of cerebellar macroneurons were used to study the pattern of expression, subcellular localization, and function of the neuronal cdk5 activator p35 during laminin-enhanced axonal growth. The results obtained indicate that laminin, an extracellular matrix molecule capable of selectively stimulating axonal extension and promoting MAP1B phosphorylation(More)
Huntington's and Kennedy's disease are autosomal dominant neurodegenerative diseases caused by pathogenic expansion of polyglutamine tracts. Expansion of glutamine repeats must in some way confer a gain of pathological function that disrupts an essential cellular process and leads to loss of affected neurons. Association of huntingtin with vesicular(More)
Rapid organelle transport is required for process growth and establishment of specialized structures during neuronal development. Furthermore, maintenance of mature neuronal architecture and function depends on the proper delivery of materials to specialized domains within axons, such as nodes of Ranvier and synaptic terminals. Kinesin is the most abundant(More)
The specific biochemical steps required for glucose-regulated insulin exocytosis from beta-cells are not well defined. Elevation of glucose leads to increases in cytosolic [Ca2+]i and biphasic release of insulin from both a readily releasable and a storage pool of beta-granules. The effect of elevated [Ca2+]i on phosphorylation of isolated beta-granule(More)