Jennifer E. Bestman

Learn More
Visual system development requires experience-dependent mechanisms that regulate neuronal structure and function, including dendritic arbor growth, synapse formation, and stabilization. Although RNA binding proteins have been shown to affect some forms of synaptic plasticity in adult animals, their role in the development of neuronal structure and(More)
Single-cell electroporation allows transfection of plasmid DNA or macromolecules into individual living cells using modified patch electrodes and common electrophysiological equipment. This protocol is optimized for rapid in vivo electroporation of Xenopus laevis tadpole brains with DNA, dextrans, morpholinos and combinations thereof. Experienced users can(More)
We analyzed the function of neural progenitors in the developing central nervous system of Xenopus laevis tadpoles by using in vivo time-lapse confocal microscopy to collect images through the tectum at intervals of 2-24 hours over 3 days. Neural progenitor cells were labeled with fluorescent protein reporters based on expression of endogenous Sox2(More)
Cytoplasmic Polyadenylation Element Binding protein (CPEB) is an RNA binding protein involved in dendritic delivery of mRNA and activity-dependent, polyadenylation-induced translation of mRNAs in the dendritic arbor. CPEB affects learning and memory and impacts neuronal morphological and synaptic plasticity. In neurons, CPEB is concentrated in(More)
Neurogenesis in the brain of Xenopus laevis continues throughout larval stages of development. We developed a 2-tier screen to identify candidate genes controlling neurogenesis in Xenopus optic tectum in vivo. First, microarray and NanoString analyses were used to identify candidate genes that were differentially expressed in Sox2-expressing neural(More)
Antisense morpholino oligonucleotides (MOs) have become a valuable method to knock down protein levels, to block mRNA splicing, and to interfere with miRNA function. MOs are widely used to alter gene expression during development of Xenopus and zebra fish, where they are typically injected into the fertilized egg or blastomeres. Here, we present methods to(More)
Epilepsy is a debilitating disease affecting 1-2% of the world's population. Despite this high prevalence, 30% of patients suffering from epilepsy are not successfully managed by current medication suggesting a critical need for new anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs). In an effort to discover new therapeutics for the management of epilepsy, we began our study by(More)
Mitochondria are involved in key cellular functions including energy production, metabolic homeostasis, and apoptosis. Normal mitochondrial function is preserved by several interrelated mechanisms. One mechanism - intramitochondrial quality control (IMQC) - is represented by conserved proteases distributed across mitochondrial compartments. Many aspects and(More)
DNA polymerase gamma (POLG) is essential for replication and repair of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Mutations in POLG cause mtDNA instability and a diverse range of poorly understood human diseases. Here, we created a unique Polg animal model, by modifying polg within the critical and highly conserved polymerase domain in zebrafish. polg(+/-) offspring were(More)
  • 1