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The RNase III enzyme Dicer processes RNA into siRNAs and miRNAs, which direct a RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC) to cleave mRNA or block its translation (RNAi). We have characterized mutations in the Drosophila dicer-1 and dicer-2 genes. Mutation in dicer-1 blocks processing of miRNA precursors, whereas dicer-2 mutants are defective for processing siRNA(More)
The postnatal forebrain subventricular zone (SVZ) harbors stem cells that give rise to olfactory bulb interneurons throughout life. The identity of stem cells in the adult SVZ has been extensively debated. Although, ependymal cells were once suggested to have stem cell characteristics, subsequent studies have challenged the initial report and postulated(More)
After cell birth, almost all neurons in the mammalian central nervous system migrate. It is unclear whether and how cell migration is coupled with neurogenesis. Here we report that proneural basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factors not only initiate neuronal differentiation but also potentiate cell migration. Mechanistically, proneural bHLH(More)
Innate immunity against bacterial and fungal pathogens is mediated by Toll and immune deficiency (Imd) pathways, but little is known about the antiviral response in Drosophila. Here, we demonstrate that an RNA interference pathway protects adult flies from infection by two evolutionarily diverse viruses. Our work also describes a molecular framework for the(More)
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rapidly progressing neurodegenerative disease, characterized by motor neuron (MN) death, for which there are no truly effective treatments. Here, we describe a new small molecule survival screen carried out using MNs from both wild-type and mutant SOD1 mouse embryonic stem cells. Among the hits we found, kenpaullone(More)
Delta-catenin (or neural plakophilin-related arm-repeat protein/neurojungin) is primarily a brain specific member of the p120(ctn) subfamily of armadillo/beta-catenin proteins that play important roles in neuronal development. Our previous studies have shown that the ectopic expression of delta-catenin induces the formation of dendrite-like extensions and(More)
Maternal embryonic leucine zipper kinase (MELK) was previously identified in a screen for genes enriched in neural progenitors. Here, we demonstrate expression of MELK by progenitors in developing and adult brain and that MELK serves as a marker for self-renewing multipotent neural progenitors (MNPs) in cultures derived from the developing forebrain and in(More)
The self-renewal and differentiation potential of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) suggests that hESCs could be used for regenerative medicine, especially for restoring neuronal functions in brain diseases. However, the functional properties of neurons derived from hESC are largely unknown. Moreover, because hESCs were derived under diverse conditions,(More)
Small RNAs direct RNA-induced silencing complexes (RISCs) to regulate stability and translation of mRNAs. RISCs associated with target mRNAs often accumulate in discrete cytoplasmic foci known as GW-bodies. However, RISC proteins can associate with membrane compartments such as the Golgi and endoplasmic reticulum. Here, we show that GW-bodies are associated(More)
Noncoding expansions of a hexanucleotide repeat (GGGGCC) in the C9orf72 gene are the most common cause of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia. Here we report transgenic mice carrying a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) containing the full human C9orf72 gene with either a normal allele (15 repeats) or disease-associated(More)