Trent A Watkins

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The transcriptional control of CNS myelin gene expression is poorly understood. Here we identify gene model 98, which we have named myelin gene regulatory factor (MRF), as a transcriptional regulator required for CNS myelination. Within the CNS, MRF is specifically expressed by postmitotic oligodendrocytes. MRF is a nuclear protein containing an(More)
The cell intrinsic factors that determine whether a neuron regenerates or undergoes apoptosis in response to axonal injury are not well defined. Here we show that the mixed-lineage dual leucine zipper kinase (DLK) is an essential upstream mediator of both of these divergent outcomes in the same cell type. Optic nerve crush injury leads to rapid elevation of(More)
Mechanistic studies of CNS myelination have been hindered by the lack of a rapidly myelinating culture system. Here, we describe a versatile CNS coculture method that allows time-lapse microscopy and molecular analysis of distinct stages of myelination. Employing a culture architecture of reaggregated neurons fosters extension of dense beds of axons from(More)
Axons dictate whether or not they will become myelinated in both the central and peripheral nervous systems by providing signals that direct the development of myelinating glia. Here we identify the neurotrophin nerve growth factor (NGF) as a potent regulator of the axonal signals that control myelination of TrkA-expressing dorsal root ganglion neurons(More)
Neurons are highly polarized cells that often project axons a considerable distance. To respond to axonal damage, neurons must transmit a retrograde signal to the nucleus to enable a transcriptional stress response. Here we describe a mechanism by which this signal is propagated through injury-induced stabilization of dual leucine zipper-bearing kinase(More)
The controlling factors that prompt mature oligodendrocytes to myelinate axons are largely undetermined. In this study, we used a forward genetics approach to identify a mutant mouse strain characterized by the absence of CNS myelin despite the presence of abundant numbers of late-stage, process-extending oligodendrocytes. Through linkage mapping and(More)
Here, we describe the latest developments on the mechanistic characterization of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) [EC 2.4.2.30], a DNA-dependent enzyme that catalyzes the synthesis of protein-bound ADP-ribose polymers in eucaryotic chromatin. A detailed kinetic analysis of the automodification reaction of PARP in the presence of nicked dsDNA indicates(More)
The PKR-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase (PERK) arm of the Integrated Stress Response (ISR) is implicated in neurodegenerative disease, although the regulators and consequences of PERK activation following neuronal injury are poorly understood. Here we show that PERK signaling is a component of the mouse MAP kinase neuronal stress response controlled by(More)
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