Shu-Zhen Wang

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The various cell types in the vertebrate retina arise from a pool of common progenitors. The way that the cell types are specified has been a long-standing issue. Decades of research have yielded a large body of information regarding the involvement of extrinsic factors, and only recently has the function of intrinsic factors begun to emerge. This article(More)
The molecular mechanism of retinal ganglion cell (RGC) genesis and development is not well understood. Published data suggest that the process may involve two bHLH genes, ath5 and NSCL1. Gain-of-function studies show that ath5 increases RGC production in the developing retina. We examined whether two chick genes, cath5 and cNSCL1, can guide retinal pigment(More)
PURPOSE The genetic control of photoreceptor cell fate in the vertebrate retina is poorly understood. Published studies suggest that the genetic program underlying photoreceptor production involves neuroD, a proneural basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) gene. The present study investigates whether neuroD is necessary for photoreceptor cell development, by using(More)
Guiding non-neural, retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) to produce retinal neurons may offer a source of developing neurons for cell-replacement. Sox2 plays important roles in maintaining neural progenitor/stem cell properties and in converting fibroblasts into pluripotent stem cells. This study tests the possibility of using Sox2 to reprogram RPE to(More)
The molecular mechanism underlying vertebrate retinal development is not well understood. To examine whether neurogenin2 (ngn2) expression determines cell fate in the retina, we mapped the final fates of cells that once expressed ngn2, using the conditional, binary CreER -LacZ system. We found LacZ+ cells in all 3 nuclear layers of the mouse retina and(More)
Photoreceptors in the vertebrate retina are light-sensitive neurons, and their degeneration results in irreversible visual loss. Understanding how photoreceptor fate is determined is a prerequisite for developing photoreceptor replacement therapies. Previous studies identified two basic helix-loop-helix genes, neurogenin2 (ngn2) and neuroD, participating in(More)
IMPORTANCE OF THE FIELD Retinal degenerations cause blindness. One potential therapy is cell replacement. Because the human retina lacks regeneration capacity, much attention has been directed towards searching for cells that can differentiate into retinal neurons. AREAS COVERED IN THIS REVIEW We discuss the possibility of using transcription factor genes(More)
PURPOSE Harnessing a cell culture of retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) to give rise to retinal neurons may offer a source of developing neurons for cell-replacement studies. This study explores the possibility of reprogramming RPE progeny cells to differentiate toward retinal neurons with achaete-scute homolog 1 (ash1), a proneural gene that is expressed in(More)
Müller glia have been shown to be a potential source of neural regeneration in the avian retina. In response to acute damage Müller glia de-differentiate, proliferate, express transcription factors found in embryonic retinal progenitors, and some of the progeny differentiate into neurons and glia (Fischer and Reh [2001a] Nat. Neurosci. 4:247-252). However,(More)
PURPOSE The molecular mechanism underlying retinal ganglion cell (RGC) differentiation is not fully understood. In this study, the role of the basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) genes ath5 and NSCL1 in RGC differentiation was examined, by testing whether their coexpression would promote RGC differentiation to a greater extent than either gene alone. METHODS(More)