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Pathologic alterations in the microtubule-associated protein tau have been implicated in a number of neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's disease (AD), progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). Here, we show that tau overexpression, in combination with phosphorylation by the Drosophila glycogen synthase kinase-3(More)
Hyperphosphorylation of tau at multiple sites has been implicated in the formation of neurofibrillary tangles in Alzheimer's disease; however, the relationship between toxicity and phosphorylation of tau has not been clearly elucidated. Putative tau kinases that play a role in such phosphorylation events include the proline-directed kinases glycogen(More)
Inclusion body myopathy with Paget's disease of bone and frontotemporal dementia (IBMPFD) is caused by mutations in Valosin-containing protein (VCP), a hexameric AAA ATPase that participates in a variety of cellular processes such as protein degradation, organelle biogenesis, and cell-cycle regulation. To understand how VCP mutations cause IBMPFD, we have(More)
Neurofibrillary tangles (NFT) containing tau are a hallmark of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease (AD). NFT burden correlates with cognitive decline and neurodegeneration in AD. However, little is known about mechanisms that protect against tau-induced neurodegeneration. We used a cross species functional genomic approach to analyze(More)
Over the last two decades, a number of mutations have been identified that give rise to neurodegenerative disorders, including familial forms of Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Although in most cases sporadic cases vastly outnumber familial forms of such diseases, study of such inherited forms has the potential(More)
Mutations in human parkin have been identified in familial Parkinson's disease and in some sporadic cases. Here, we report that expression of mutant but not wild-type human parkin in Drosophila causes age-dependent, selective degeneration of dopaminergic (DA) neurons accompanied by a progressive motor impairment. Overexpression or knockdown of the(More)
Huntington's disease (HD) is caused by expansion of a polyglutamine tract near the N-terminal of huntingtin. Mutant huntingtin forms aggregates in striatum and cortex, where extensive cell death occurs. We used a Drosophila polyglutamine peptide model to assess the role of specific cell death regulators in polyglutamine-induced cell death. Here, we report(More)
Hybridization is an important evolutionary mechanism in plants and has been increasingly documented in animals. Difficulty in reconstruction of reticulate evolution, however, has been a long-standing problem in phylogenetics. Consequently, hybrid speciation may play a major role in causing topological incongruence between gene trees. The incongruence, in(More)
Starting with a mutation impacting photoreceptor morphogenesis, we identify here a Drosophila gene, eyes closed (eyc), as a fly homolog of p47, a protein co-factor of the p97 ATPase implicated in membrane fusion. Temporal misexpression of Eyc during rhabdomere extension early in pupal life results in inappropriate retention of normally transient adhesions(More)
The nuclear-encoded chloroplast-expressed glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase (GPAT) gene has been found to be single-copy in a number of angiosperm families. In this study we investigated the phylogenetic utility of the GPAT gene at the interspecific level using the genus Paeonia (Paeoniaceae) as an example. An approximately 2.3- to 2.6-kb fragment of the(More)