Xiaobo Bai Published Paper in The Journal of Cell Biology
December 16, 2013
Xiaobo Bai, a graduate student in Dr. Elias Spiliotis lab, published a paper in The Journal of Cell Biology.
Here is a brief introduction to the study:
For more information, you can find the PDF and text of the paper in this link: http://jcb.rupress.org/content/203/6/895.full
Hereditary neuralgic amyotrophy (HNA) is a rare neuropathy of the shoulder and arm. The cause of HNA remains unknown, but HNA patients have mutations in a gene called septin 9 (SEPT9). In collaboration with laboratories from Yale University and Kiel University (Germany), Biology graduate student Xiaobo Bai (Spiliotis lab) has published a study in The Journal of Cell Biology that sheds new light on the molecular and cellular cause of HNA. In search of the mechanism by which septin proteins interact with the microtubule cytoskeleton, Xiaobo discovered that HNA mutations map to a repeat sequence motif that mediates the interaction of septins with microtubules. Importantly, Bai and colleagues found that a specific HNA mutation diminishes the ability of SEPT9 to bundle microtubules and affects the asymmetric growth of neurites, which is critical for the morphogenesis of neuronal axons. These findings suggest that mutations in SEPT9 may compromise the neurons that enervate and control the movement of the shoulder and arm muscle.