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Reactive oxygen species (ROS) and mitochondrial defects in neurons are implicated in neurodegenerative disease. Here, we find that a key consequence of ROS and neuronal mitochondrial dysfunction is the accumulation of lipid droplets (LD) in glia. In Drosophila, ROS triggers c-Jun-N-terminal Kinase (JNK) and Sterol Regulatory Element Binding Protein (SREBP)(More)
The Drosophila neuromuscular junction (NMJ) has recently provided new insights into the roles of various proteins in neurodegenerative diseases including Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP), and Huntington's Disease (HD). Several developmental signaling pathways(More)
To investigate the repair of oxidative damage in DNA, we have established an in vitro assay utilizing human lymphoblastoid whole cell extracts and plasmid DNA damaged by exposure to methylene blue and visible light. This treatment has been shown to produce predominantly 7-hydro-8-oxodeoxyguanosine (8-oxodG) in double-stranded DNA at low levels of(More)
Despite bone's impressive ability to heal after traumatic injuries and fractures, a significant need still exists for developing strategies to promote healing of nonunion defects. To address this issue, we developed collagen-based hydrogels containing two-dimensional nanosilicates. Nanosilicates are ultrathin nanomaterials with a high degree of anisotropy(More)
Two insults often underlie a variety of eye diseases including glaucoma, optic atrophy, and retinal degeneration--defects in mitochondrial function and aberrant Rhodopsin trafficking. Although mitochondrial defects are often associated with oxidative stress, they have not been linked to Rhodopsin trafficking. In an unbiased forward genetic screen designed(More)
Invertebrate model systems are powerful tools for studying human disease owing to their genetic tractability and ease of screening. We conducted a mosaic genetic screen of lethal mutations on the Drosophila X chromosome to identify genes required for the development, function, and maintenance of the nervous system. We identified 165 genes, most of whose(More)
Parkinson's disease (PD) is a common neurodegenerative disease, yet the underlying causative molecular mechanisms are ill defined. Numerous observations based on drug studies and mutations in genes that cause PD point to a complex set of rather subtle mitochondrial defects that may be causative. Indeed, intensive investigation of these genes in model(More)
Rhodopsins (Rhs) are light sensors, and Rh1 is the major Rh in the Drosophila photoreceptor rhabdomere membrane. Upon photoactivation, a fraction of Rh1 is internalized and degraded, but it remains unclear how the rhabdomeric Rh1 pool is replenished and what molecular players are involved. Here, we show that Crag, a DENN protein, is a guanine nucleotide(More)
An increasing number of genes required for mitochondrial biogenesis, dynamics, or function have been found to be mutated in metabolic disorders and neurological diseases such as Leigh Syndrome. In a forward genetic screen to identify genes required for neuronal function and survival in Drosophila photoreceptor neurons, we have identified mutations in the(More)
Although hydrogels are able to mimic native tissue microenvironments, their utility for biomedical applications is severely hampered due to limited mechanical stiffness and low toughness. Despite recent progress in designing stiff and tough hydrogels, it is still challenging to achieve a cell-friendly, high modulus construct. Here, we report a highly(More)