Our paper with Gene Blatt in Journal of Comparative Neurology on the evolution of neuroanatomical tracing methods came out today with Cheryl’s beautiful electroporated, cleared, and light sheet imaged hippocampus gracing the cover, alongside Dee Pandya’s India Ink traces. Happy New Year everyone!
Just out, our paper on the biology of a synaptic adhesion molecule critically implicated in autism, published in Biological Psychiatry!
This massive paper includes outstanding work from scientists and collaborators at the Max Planck Institute for Multidisciplinary Sciences in Germany, and the University of Turin in Italy. It includes some of the first ever imaging of human synapses (spot the cool cup-shaped presynaptic terminals nestled in the human brainstem ????!), and identifies a molecular mechanism that determines the synaptic localization and transmitter-specificity of Neuroligin-3 between excitatory and inhibitory synapses in the brain. Congrats to everyone involved, a great way to end the year!
Region-Specific Phosphorylation Determines Neuroligin-3 Localization to Excitatory versus Inhibitory Synapses
For all genome editing fans out there, check out our latest study on bioRxiv showcasing in utero prime editing to model an epilepsy patient with an ultra-rare GRIN variant. To our knowledge, this marks a significant milestone as the first prime editing of neurons in vivo!
Led by Colin Robertson in our lab, alongside Patrick Davis from Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, this ambitious project aims to make precision medicine more accessible to a broad patient population. This rapid workflow to generate personalized animal models with prime editing we hope is a step toward enabling individuals with rare genetic epilepsies to test and tailor pharmacotherapy on their personalized models, reducing the burdens of exploring treatments.
A big thank you for the collaborative efforts of the team, including our partner UM-MIND labs of Peter Crino, Phil Iffland, Steffen Wolff, Brian Mathur, and Ivy Dick; as well as our wonderful collaborators from U Pitt, Eldin Jašarević, and UC Anschutz, Tracy Bale! Thank you all for this achievement and the fantastic collaboration we enjoy!
We look forward to this research advancing toward bedside-to-bench applications!
Congrats to Dr. Bek Altas and our collaborator Prof. Hiroshi Kawabe from Gunma University, Japan, who teased apart a complicated network of cellular interactions between neurons and glia in the brain that cause seizures. Mechanisms of proteostasis and downstream ion gradient homeostasis in astrocytes results in epileptiform network activity in neurons, possibly informing about the pathophysiology behind rare forms of epilepsy with gene variants of the ubiquitin pathway. Read all about it!
Calling all Neuroscientists!!!
Come check out all the PouLab posters at SfN 2023
Sunday pm session: “Genetic Techniques to Target and/or Manipulate Cells”, three back-to-back posters :
- VV22: Find out what the best tag is for labeling your protein by Knockin at Andrea Romanowski‘s poster
- VV23: Learn about how some genes are resistant to CRISPR-activation at Ashley Marquardt‘s poster
- VV24: Get to see Neuroligin 3 for the first time in the human brain and how it might be used against brain cancer at Ro Whitten‘s poster
Monday am session “Animal Models of Epilepsy: Genetics and Pharmacology”:
- C57: Learn about an exciting new way to model individual epilepsy patients in mice using prime editing from Colin Robertson‘s poster
Wednesday pm session “Mechanisms Underlying Axon Growth and Targeting”:
- B14: Hear about a strange non-coding RNA that is involved in axon growth and potentially regeneration at Garrett Crutcher‘s poster
Celebrate neuroscience with us!!!
Not only that, but the paper got the cover! Kudos to Cheryl Brandenburg for the beautiful image of knockin neurons and astrocytes using Cas9-RC in the developing mouse brain. Congrats to the whole team for concluding this large piece of Synth Bio meets Dev Neurosci!
We would be delighted to have you try out Cas9-RC for your own knockin needs. Plasmids will become available on Addgene within the next few days!
Corinne Martin was awarded a 2023 national Goldwater Scholarship!!! We couldn’t be prouder of her! Corinne spent two years as an NSIP intern in the lab, critically working on Pegassist and researching the links between brain development and brain cancer. Corinne’s ideas spawned new paths of investigation on how common cellular pathways in development get aberrantly reactivated in tumor cells. With a Goldwater scholarship, we are all excited to see the new frontiers Corinne will take on at the forefront of biomedical research! Congratulations Corinne!!!
Did you know that an estimated 40% of RNA in the brain is not captured by single-cell RNAseq?
Explore the intriguing world of the Brain’s Dark Transcriptome in our latest review, published in Current Opinion in Neurobiology! Check out the other great reviews in this special issue on Developmental Neuroscience edited by Debby Silver and Franck Polleux!
Follow our science at the 4 PouLab posters at SfN 2022 in San Diego!
Colin Robertson on Monday afternoon (YY36):
“Neural somatic genome editing in the brain for personalized patient models“
Garrett Bunce and Ro Whitten on Wednesday morning (B31):
“The novel gene Ganon-1 produces a scaffolding RNA for growth signaling in developing axon projections“
See you all at #SFN2022