Ivan Jeanne Weiler

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The Fragile X mental retardation-1 (Fmr1) gene encodes a multifunctional protein, FMRP, with intrinsic RNA binding activity. We have developed an approach, antibody-positioned RNA amplification (APRA), to identify the RNA cargoes associated with the in vivo configured FMRP messenger ribonucleoprotein (mRNP) complex. Using APRA as a primary screen, putative(More)
Fragile X syndrome arises from blocked expression of the fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP). Golgi-impregnated mature cerebral cortex from fragile X patients exhibits long, thin, tortuous postsynaptic spines resembling spines observed during normal early neocortical development. Here we describe dendritic spines in Golgi-impregnated cerebral cortex(More)
Fragile-X syndrome is a common form of mental retardation resulting from the inability to produce the fragile-X mental retardation protein. Qualitative examination of human brain autopsy material has shown that fragile-X patients exhibit abnormal dendritic spine lengths and shapes on parieto-occipital neocortical pyramidal cells. Similar quantitative(More)
Local translation of proteins in distal dendrites is thought to support synaptic structural plasticity. We have previously shown that metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR1) stimulation initiates a phosphorylation cascade, triggering rapid association of some mRNAs with translation machinery near synapses, and leading to protein synthesis. To determine the(More)
Western blots are used to estimate the relative concentrations of proteins of interest based on staining by specific antibodies. Quantitative measurements are often subject to error due to overloading of the loading control and over-reliance on normalization. We have found that at the protein concentrations normally used to quantify most low-abundance(More)
Fragile X mental retardation is caused by absence of the RNA-binding protein fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP), encoded by the FMR1 gene. There is increasing evidence that FMRP regulates transport and modulates translation of some mRNAs. We studied neurotransmitter-activated synaptic protein synthesis in fmr1-knockout mice. Synaptoneurosomes from(More)
Fragile-X syndrome is a common form of mental retardation resulting from the inability to produce the fragile-X mental retardation protein. The specific function of this protein is unknown; however, it has been proposed to play a role in developmental synaptic plasticity. Examination of human brain autopsy material has shown that fragile-X patients exhibit(More)
Protein synthesis occurs in neuronal dendrites, often near synapses. Polyribosomal aggregates often appear in dendritic spines, particularly during development. Polyribosomal aggregates in spines increase during experience-dependent synaptogenesis, e.g., in rats in a complex environment. Some protein synthesis appears to be regulated directly by synaptic(More)
OBJECTIVE In fragile X syndrome (FXS), it is hypothesized that absence of the fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) disrupts regulation of group 1 metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR and mGluR5)-dependent translation in dendrites. Lithium reduces mGluR-activated translation and reverses phenotypes in the dfxr mutant fly and fmr1 knockout mouse.(More)
Behavioral experiences can modulate neural networks through changes in synaptic morphology and number. In contrast, abnormal morphogenesis of dendritic spines is associated with cognitive impairment, as in Fragile X syndrome. Dendritic or synaptic protein synthesis could provide the specificity and speed necessary for spine morphogenesis. Here, we highlight(More)