Janet Brownlees

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Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a late-onset neurological disorder characterized by death of motoneurons. Mutations in Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase-1 (SOD1) cause familial ALS but the mechanisms whereby they induce disease are not fully understood. Here, we use time-lapse microscopy to monitor for the first time the effect of mutant SOD1 on fast axonal(More)
Neurofilaments possess side arms that comprise the carboxy-terminal domains of neurofilament middle and heavy chains (NFM and NFH); that of NFH is heavily phosphorylated in axons. Here, we demonstrate that phosphorylation of NFH side arms is a mechanism for regulating transport of neurofilaments through axons. Mutants in which known NFH phosphorylation(More)
Neurofilaments are transported through axons by slow axonal transport. Abnormal accumulations of neurofilaments are seen in several neurodegenerative diseases, and this suggests that neurofilament transport is defective. Excitotoxic mechanisms involving glutamate are believed to be part of the pathogenic process in some neurodegenerative diseases, but there(More)
In order to investigate the effect on tau of manipulating glycogen synthase kinase (GSK)-3beta activity in the brain, we created transgenic mice harbouring wild-type GSK-3beta genes or a mutant GSK-3beta that is predicted to be more active. Transgene-derived mRNAs were detected in the brains of a number of the transgenic mouse lines and several of these(More)
Neurofilament middle and heavy chains (NFM and NFH) are heavily phosphorylated on their carboxy-terminal side-arm domains in axons. The mechanisms that regulate this phosphorylation are complex. Here, we demonstrate that p38alpha, a member of the stress-activated protein kinase family, will phosphorylate NFM and NFH on their side-arm domains. Aberrant(More)
Ser55 within the head domain of neurofilament light chain (NF-L) is a target for phosphorylation by protein kinase A. To understand further the physiological role(s) of NF-L Ser55 phosphorylation, we generated transgenic mice with a mutant NF-L transgene in which Ser55 was mutated to Asp so as to mimic permanent phosphorylation. Two lines of NF-L(Asp) mice(More)
Aberrant metabolism of the amyloid precursor protein (APP) is believed to be at least part of the pathogenic process in Alzheimer's disease. The carboxy-terminus of APP has been shown to interact with the Mint/X11 family of phosphotyrosine binding (PTB) domain-bearing proteins. It is via their PTB domains that the Mints/X11s bind to APP. Here we report the(More)
The neuronal cyclin-dependent kinase p35/cdk5 comprises a catalytic subunit (cdk5) and an activator subunit (p35). To identify novel p35/cdk5 substrates, we utilized the yeast two-hybrid system to screen for human p35 binding partners. From one such screen, we identified beta-catenin as an interacting protein. Confirmation that p35 binds to beta-catenin was(More)
Threonine(668) (thr(668)) within the carboxy-terminus of the Alzheimer's disease amyloid precursor protein (APP) is a known in vivo phosphorylation site. Phosphorylation of APPthr(668) is believed to regulate APP function and metabolism. Thr(668) precedes a proline, which suggests that it is targeted for phosphorylation by proline-directed kinase(s). We(More)
Full-length Aβ1-42 and Aβ1-40, N-truncated pyroglutamate Aβ3-42 and Aβ4-42 are major variants in the Alzheimer brain. Aβ4-42 has not been considered as a therapeutic target yet. We demonstrate that the antibody NT4X and its Fab fragment reacting with both the free N-terminus of Aβ4-x and pyroglutamate Aβ3-X mitigated neuron loss in Tg4-42 mice expressing(More)