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Name: Gary J Bassell, Ph.D.
Title: Professor And Chair Cell Biology
Phone: 4047273772

Research Interests:

Mechanism and function of mRNA transport and local protein synthesis in neurons; Inherited neurological diseases resulting for altered regulation of RNA; spinal muscular atrophy; fragile x syndrome

The main research interest of our laboratory is to understand the mechanism and function of mRNA transport and local protein synthesis in neurons of the central and peripheral nervous system. We are using in vitro and in vivo models of synaptic activity and nerve injury, as well as mouse models of neurological diseases, to assess the function of mRNA regulation in axon guidance, nerve regeneration and synaptic plasticity. We have a long-standing interest in the mechanism, regulation and function of ?-actin mRNA localization to growth cones of developing axons. More recently, we have been interested how impairments in mRNA regulation may underlie spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and fragile x syndrome (FXS), two inherited neurological diseases affecting children. Efforts are also underway to evaluate different therapeutic modalities in these mouse models. Our research utilizes a multi-disciplinary approach that involves primary neuronal culture, brain/nerve micro-dissection, viral vectors, fluorescently tagged mRNA and proteins, fluorescence live-cell imaging, and molecular and biochemical methods to isolate and characterize RNA-protein interactions. These studies will provide new insight into molecular and cellular mechanisms important for neuronal development and plasticity, as well as into defects in these pathways that underlie neurological diseases.

Selected publications:

Welshhans K and Bassell GJ. (2011): Netrin-1 induced local ?-actin synthesis and growth cone guidance requires zipcode binding protein.   Journal of Neuroscience  30:9800-9813

Muddashetty R, Nalavadi V, Gross C, Yao X, Warren ST and Bassell GJ (2011): Reversible inhibition of PSD-95 mRNA translation by miR-125a, FMRP phosphorylation and mGluR signaling.   Molecular Cell  42:673-88

Gross C, Yao X, Pang DL and Bassell GJ (2011): Fragile X Mental Retardation protein regulates protein expression and mRNA translation of the potassium channel, Kv4.2..   Journal of Neuroscience  13:5693-5698

Fallini, C., Zhang HL, Su Y, Silani V, Singer RH, Rossoll W and Bassell GJ (2011): The Survival of Motor Neuron (SMN) Protein Interacts with the mRNA-Binding Protein HuD and Regulates Localization of Poly(A) mRNA in Primary Motor Neuron Axons..   Journal of Neuroscience  31:3914-25

Gross C, Nakamoto M, Yao X, Warren ST and Bassell GJ (2010): Excess PI3K subunit synthesis and activity as a novel therapeutic target in fragile x syndrome..   Journal of Neuroscience  30:10624-1063

Sasaki Y, Welshhans K, Wen Z, Yao J, Xu M, Goshima Y, Zheng JQ and Bassell GJ (2010): Phosphorylation of zipcode binding protein 1 is required for brain-derived neurotrophic factor signaling of local beta-actin synthesis and growth cone turning..   Journal of Neuroscience  30:9349-9358

Sasaki Y, Welshanns K, Yao J, Zheng JQ and Bassell GJ. (2010): ZBP1 phosphorylation by Src activates local ?-actin mRNA translation underlying growth cone turning..   Journal of Neuroscience  30:9349-58

Gross C, Nakamoto M, Yao X, Chan CB, Yim SY, Ye K, Warren ST and Bassell GJ. (2010): Excess phosphoinositide 3-kinase subunit synthesis and activity as a novel therapeutic target in fragile x syndrome. .   Journal of Neuroscience  30:10624-1063

Bassell GJ and Warren ST. (2008): Fragile x syndrome: Loss of Local RNA regulation alters synaptic development and function..   Neuron  60:201-214

Dictenberg JB, Swanger SA, Antar LN, Singer RH and Bassell GJ. (2008): Deficient activity-dependent mRNA transport in a mouse model of Fragile X Syndrome..   Developmental Cell  14:926-939

Last Update: 05.25.2011

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