Shyuan T Ngo

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The postsynaptic muscle-specific kinase (MuSK) coordinates formation of the neuromuscular junction (NMJ) during embryonic development. Here we have studied the effects of MuSK autoantibodies upon the NMJ in adult mice. Daily injections of IgG from four MuSK autoantibody-positive myasthenia gravis patients (MuSK IgG; 45 mg day(1)i.p. for 14 days) caused(More)
Agrin induces, whereas acetylcholine (ACh) disperses, ACh receptor (AChR) clusters during neuromuscular synaptogenesis. Such counteractive interaction leads to eventual dispersal of nonsynaptic AChR-rich sites and formation of receptor clusters at the postjunctional membrane. However, the underlying mechanisms are not well understood. Here we show that(More)
Autoimmune diseases are a range of diseases in which the immune response to self-antigens results in damage or dysfunction of tissues. Autoimmune diseases can be systemic or can affect specific organs or body systems. For most autoimmune diseases there is a clear sex difference in prevalence, whereby females are generally more frequently affected than(More)
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is the most common fatal motor neuron disease in adults. Numerous studies indicate that ALS is a systemic disease that affects whole body physiology and metabolic homeostasis. Using a mouse model of the disease (SOD1(G86R)), we investigated muscle physiology and motor behavior with respect to muscle metabolic capacity. We(More)
Neural agrin is a heparan sulphate proteoglycan first defined by its ability to induce the clustering of acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) on cultured muscle cells. Neural agrin activates the transmembrane Muscle Specific Kinase (MuSK) on the postsynaptic muscle cell to stabilise the developing neuromuscular synapse. Three biological mechanisms for agrin/MuSK(More)
Fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) experiments at neuromuscular junctions in the mouse tibialis anterior muscle show that postsynaptic acetylcholine receptors (AChRs) become more tightly packed during the first month of postnatal development. Here, we report that the packing of AChRs into postsynaptic aggregates was reduced in 4-week postnatal(More)
Alpha-conotoxins are tightly folded miniproteins that antagonize nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) with high specificity for diverse subtypes. Here we report the use of selenocysteine in a supported phase method to direct native folding and produce alpha-conotoxins efficiently with improved biophysical properties. By replacing complementary cysteine(More)
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an adult-onset neurodegenerative disease characterized by the loss of upper cortical and lower motor neurons. ALS causes death within 2-5years of diagnosis. Diet and body mass index influence the clinical course of disease, however there is limited information about the expression of metabolic proteins and fat-derived(More)
OBJECTIVE To assess the relationship between Bayesian MUNE and histological motor neuron counts in wild-type mice and in an animal model of ALS. METHODS We performed Bayesian MUNE paired with histological counts of motor neurons in the lumbar spinal cord of wild-type mice and transgenic SOD1(G93A) mice that show progressive weakness over time. We(More)
The transition between puberty and adulthood is accompanied by a slowing in linear growth. Although GH is a key factor that drives somatic development into adulthood, early adulthood coincides with a reduction in circulating levels of GH. To this extent, a pathological decline in postpubertal GH secretion is detrimental to attainment of peak lean muscle(More)