Suresh Jesuthasan

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BACKGROUND The zebrafish is emerging as an important genetic system for the study of vertebrate development, and many zygotic mutations affecting embryogenesis have been isolated. The early events in development are under the control of maternal genes but are relatively unexplored. Here, the process of axis specification is investigated. RESULTS The(More)
Visual system development is dependent on correct interpretation of cues that direct growth cone migration and axon branching. Mutations in the zebrafish esrom gene disrupt bundling and targeting of retinal axons, and also cause ectopic arborization. By positional cloning, we establish that esrom encodes a very large protein orthologous to PAM (protein(More)
The ability to detect and avoid predators is essential to survival. Various animals, from sea urchins to damselfly larvae, use injury of conspecifics to infer the presence of predators. In many fish, skin damage causes the release of chemicals that elicit escape and fear in members of the shoal. The chemical nature of the alarm substance ("Schreckstoff" in(More)
Animals quickly learn to avoid predictable danger. However, if pre-exposed to a strong stressor, they do not display avoidance even if this causes continued contact with painful stimuli [1, 2]. In rodents, lesioning the habenula, an epithalamic structure that regulates the monoaminergic system, has been reported to reduce avoidance deficits caused by(More)
Serotonergic neurons have been implicated in a broad range of processes, but the principles underlying their effects remain a puzzle. Here, we ask how these neurons influence the tendency of larval zebrafish to swim in the light and avoid regions of darkness. Pharmacological inhibition of serotonin synthesis reduces dark avoidance, indicating an involvement(More)
BACKGROUND The habenula consists of an evolutionarily conserved set of nuclei that control neuromodulator release. In lower vertebrates, the dorsal habenula receives innervation from sensory regions, but the significance of this is unclear. Here, we address the role of the habenula in olfaction by imaging neural activity in larval zebrafish expressing(More)
Electroporation is a technique for the introduction of nucleic acids and other macromolecules into cells. In chick embryos it has been a particularly powerful technique for the spatial and temporal control of gene expression in developmental studies. Electroporation methods have also been reported for Xenopus, zebrafish, and mouse. We present a new protocol(More)
LRRK2 plays an important role in Parkinson's disease (PD), but its biological functions are largely unknown. Here, we cloned the homolog of human LRRK2, characterized its expression, and investigated its biological functions in zebrafish. The blockage of zebrafish LRRK2 (zLRRK2) protein by morpholinos caused embryonic lethality and severe developmental(More)
Axonal growth cones use intermediate targets to navigate in the developing nervous system. Encountering these sites is correlated with growth cone pausing. PHR (Phr1, Esrom, Highwire, RPM-1) is a large neuronal ubiquitin ligase that interacts with multiple signaling pathways. Mouse and zebrafish phr mutants have highly penetrant axon pathfinding defects at(More)
The habenular complex is a paired structure found in the diencephalon of all vertebrates, linking the forebrain and midbrain. Habenulae are asymmetrical and may contribute to lateralized behavior. Recent studies in zebrafish have characterized molecular pathways that give rise to the habenular asymmetry and the distinct projections of the left and right(More)