Simon E. Alfred

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Type 2C protein phosphatases (PP2Cs) are vitally involved in abscisic acid (ABA) signaling. Here, we show that a synthetic growth inhibitor called pyrabactin functions as a selective ABA agonist. Pyrabactin acts through PYRABACTIN RESISTANCE 1 (PYR1), the founding member of a family of START proteins called PYR/PYLs, which are necessary for both pyrabactin(More)
Rett syndrome is caused by mutations in the gene MECP2 in approximately 80% of affected individuals. We describe a previously unknown MeCP2 isoform. Mutations unique to this isoform and the absence, until now, of identified mutations specific to the previously recognized protein indicate an important role for the newly discovered molecule in the(More)
Adventitious shoot organogenesis contributes to the fitness of diverse plant species, and control of this process is a vital step in plant transformation and in vitro propagation. New shoot meristems (SMs) can be induced by the conversion of lateral root primorida/meristems (LRP/LRMs) or callus expressing markers for this identity. To study this important(More)
Natural variation in human drug metabolism and target genes can cause pharmacogenetic or interindividual variation in drug sensitivity. We reasoned that natural pharmacogenetic variation in model organisms could be systematically exploited to facilitate the characterization of new small molecules. To test this, we subjected multiple Arabidopsis thaliana(More)
The role of microRNAs (miRNAs) in the etiology of schizophrenia is increasingly recognized. Microdeletions at chromosome 22q11.2 are recurrent structural variants that impart a high risk for schizophrenia and are found in up to 1% of all patients with schizophrenia. The 22q11.2 deletion region overlaps gene DGCR8, encoding a subunit of the miRNA(More)
A new splice variant of the Rett syndrome gene, MECP2, was recently identified, that includes coding sequence from exon 1, and is the predominant transcript in the central nervous system. This sequence encodes polyalanine and polyglycine stretches within the N-terminal portion of MeCP2, and may confer novel functional properties to the protein. We screened(More)
BACKGROUND MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are key regulators of gene expression in the human genome and may contribute to risk for neuropsychiatric disorders. miRNAs play an acknowledged role in the strongest of genetic risk factors for schizophrenia, 22q11.2 deletions. We hypothesized that in schizophrenia there would be an enrichment of other rare copy number(More)
We have recently reported the identification of a de novo balanced translocation t(5;18)(q33.1;q12.1) in a boy with autism. Here we discuss the identification of the breakpoints on chromosomes 5 and 18, and subsequent genomic and candidate gene analyses. The 18q breakpoint lies between desmocollin genes DSC1 and DSC2. The chromosome 5 breakpoint lies at the(More)
Chemical biology, the interfacial discipline of using small molecules as probes to investigate biology, is a powerful approach of developing specific, rapidly acting tools that can be applied across organisms. The single-celled alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is an excellent model system because of its photosynthetic ability, cilia-related motility and(More)
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