Kirsten S. Dickson

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Fragile X syndrome (FXS) results from the loss of the fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP), an RNA-binding protein that regulates a variety of cytoplasmic mRNAs. FMRP regulates mRNA translation and may be important in mRNA localization to dendrites. We report a third cytoplasmic regulatory function for FMRP: control of mRNA stability. In mice, we(More)
Translational stimulation of mRNAs during early development is often accompanied by increases in poly(A) tail length. Poly(A)-binding protein (PAB) is an evolutionarily conserved protein that binds to the poly(A) tails of eukaryotic mRNAs. We examined PAB's role in living cells, using both Xenopus laevis oocytes and Saccharomyces cerevisiae, by tethering it(More)
Translational control is prominent during meiotic maturation and early development. In this report, we investigate a mode of translational repression in Xenopus laevis oocytes, focusing on the mRNA encoding cyclin B1. Translation of cyclin B1 mRNA is relatively inactive in the oocyte and increases dramatically during meiotic maturation. We show, by(More)
Expression of N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor-dependent long-term potentiation (LTP) in the CA1 region of the hippocampus can be divided into an early (1-2 h), protein synthesis-independent phase and a late (>4 h), protein synthesis-dependent phase. In this study we have addressed whether the de novo protein synthesis required for the expression of(More)
During early development, specific mRNAs receive poly(A) in the cytoplasm. This cytoplasmic polyadenylation reaction correlates with, and in some cases causes, translational stimulation. Previously, it was suggested that a factor similar to the multisubunit nuclear cleavage and polyadenylation specificity factor (CPSF) played a role in cytoplasmic(More)
The translational regulation of specific mRNAs is important for controlling gene expression. The past few years have seen a rapid expansion in the identification and characterization of mRNA regulatory elements and their binding proteins. For the majority of these examples, the mechanism by which translational regulation is achieved is not well understood.(More)
Translational activation in oocytes and embryos is often regulated via increases in poly(A) length. Cleavage and polyadenylation specificity factor (CPSF), cytoplasmic polyadenylation element binding protein (CPEB), and poly(A) polymerase (PAP) have each been implicated in cytoplasmic polyadenylation in Xenopus laevis oocytes. Cytoplasmic polyadenylation(More)
The repair of phosphodiester bonds in nicked DNA is catalyzed by DNA ligases. Ligation is coupled to cleavage of a phosphoanhydride bond in a nucleotide cofactor resulting in a thermodynamically favorable process. A free energy value for phosphodiester bond formation was calculated using the reversibility of the T4 DNA ligase reaction. The relative number(More)
Postsynaptic density-95 (PSD-95) is an evolutionarily conserved synaptic adaptor protein that is known to bind many proteins including the NMDA receptor. This observation has implicated it in many NMDA receptor-dependent processes including spatial learning and synaptic plasticity. We have cloned and characterised the murine PSD-95 gene. In addition, we(More)