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We are interested in the mechanisms of glial cell development in the vertebrate central nervous system. We have identified genes that can direct the formation of glia in the retina. rax, a homeobox gene, Hes1, a basic helix-loop-helix gene, and notch1, a transmembrane receptor gene, are expressed in retinal progenitor cells, downregulated in differentiated(More)
Although multiple axon guidance cues have been discovered in recent years, little is known about the mechanism by which the spatiotemporal expression patterns of the axon guidance cues are regulated in vertebrates. We report that a homeobox gene Irx4 is expressed in a pattern similar to that of Slit1 in the chicken retina. Overexpression of Irx4 led to(More)
Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), an inherited disease of motor neuron dysfunction, results from insufficient levels of the survival motor neuron (SMN) protein. Movement of the SMN protein as granules within cultured axons suggests that the pathogenesis of SMA may involve defects in neuronal transport, yet the nature of axon transport vesicles remains(More)
The stereotypical projection of retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axons to the optic disc has served as a good model system for studying axon guidance. By both in vitro and in vivo experiments, we show that a secreted molecule, Sonic hedgehog (Shh), may play a critical role in the process. It is expressed in a dynamic pattern in the ganglion cell layer with a(More)
Macropinocytosis is a type of poorly characterized fluid-phase endocytosis that results in formation of relatively large vesicles. We report that Sonic hedgehog (Shh) protein induces macropinocytosis in the axons through activation of a noncanonical signaling pathway, including Rho GTPase and nonmuscle myosin II. Macropinocytosis induced by Shh is(More)
The targeting of retinal ganglion axons toward the optic disc is the first step in axon pathfinding in the visual system. The molecular mechanisms involved in guiding the retinal axons to project towards the optic disc are not well understood. We report that a gene encoding a zinc-finger transcription factor, Zic3, is expressed in a periphery-high and(More)
By RT-PCR, we isolated a partial cDNA clone for the chick Semaphorin7A (Sema7A) gene. We further analyzed its expression patterns and compared them with those of the Sema3D gene, in chick embryonic development. Sema3D and Sema7A appeared to be expressed in distinct cell populations. In mesoderm-derived structures, Sema7A expression was detected in the newly(More)
Results from lineage tracing studies indicate that precursor cells in the ventricles give rise to both cardiac muscle and conduction cells. Cardiac conduction cells are specialized cells responsible for orchestrating the rhythmic contractions of the heart. Here, we show that Notch signaling plays an important role in the differentiation of cardiac muscle(More)
In addition to its role as a morphogen, Sonic hedgehog (Shh) has also been shown to function as a guidance factor that directly acts on the growth cones of various types of axons. However, the noncanonical signaling pathways that mediate the guidance effects of Shh protein remain poorly understood. We demonstrate that a novel signaling pathway consisting of(More)
The initial step of retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axon pathfinding involves directed growth of RGC axons toward the center of the retina, the optic disc, a process termed "intraretinal guidance". Due to the accessibility of the system, and with various embryological, molecular and genetic approaches, significant progress has been made in recent years toward(More)