The ultimate goal of my research is to improve functional recovery from axon degeneration in neurodegenerative diseases and following the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerve injuries. We are currently studying the roles of localized mRNAs and their binding proteins in axon regeneration. We utilize multidisciplinary approaches, including primary neuronal culture, rodent microsurgery, viral vectors, fluorescently tagged proteins, molecular and biochemical methods. Understanding mechanisms underlying axon regeneration will help to develop therapeutic approaches for functional recovery.
Tadesse, T.T. †, Cheng Q. †, Xu, M. †, Young, L.J., Baro, D.J., and Pallas, S.L. 2013. Regulation of Ephrin-A gradients in compressed retinocollicular maps. Dev. Neurobiol. 73: 274-296. † Equal Contribution.
Wilhelm, J.C., Xu, M., Cucoranu, D., Chmielewski S., Holmes T., Lau K., Bassell, G.J., English, A. 2012. Cooperative roles of BDNF expression in neurons and Schwann cells are modulated by exercise to facilitate nerve regeneration. J. Neurosci. 32: 5002-5009.
Donnelly, C.J.†, Willis, D.E.†, Xu, M. †, Tep, C., Kendall, M., Jang, C., Yoo, S., Schanen, N.C., Kirn-Safran, C.B. 2, van Minnen, J., English, A, Yoon, S.O., Bassell, G.J., and Twiss, J.L. 2011. Limited availability of ZBP1 restricts axonal mRNA localization and nerve regeneration capability. EMBO J. 30, 4665-4677. † Equal Contribution.
Willis, D.E.†, Xu, M. †, Donnelly, C.J.†, Tep, C., Kendall, M., Erenstheyn, M., English, A, Schanen, N.C., Kirn-Safran, C.B. 2, Yoon, S.O., Bassell, G.J., and Twiss, J.L. 2011. Axonal localization of transgene mRNA in mature PNS and CNS neurons. J. Neurosci. 31:14481-14487. † Equal Contribution.
Sasaki, Y., Welshhans, K., Wen, Z., Yao, J., Xu, M., Zheng J.Q., and Bassell, G.J. 2010. Phosphorylation of zipcode binding protein is required for BDNF signaling of local β-actin synthesis and growth cone turning. J. Neurosci. 30: 9349-9358.
Muddashetty, R. †, Kelic S. †, Gross C., Xu, M., and Bassell, G.J. 2007. Dysregulated mGluR-dependent translation of AMPA receptor and PSD-95 mRNAs in a mouse model of Fragile X syndrome. J. Neurosci. 27, 5338-5348. † Equal Contribution
Carson, J.P., Ju, T., Lu, H.C., Thaller, C., Xu, M., Pallas, S.L., Crair, M.C., Warren, J., Chiu, W., and Eichele, G. 2005. A digital atlas to characterize the mouse brain transcriptome. PLoS Comput. Biol. 1, e41 (Front cover feature).
Xu, M., Ng, Y.K., Yip, G.W., and Gan, L. 2005. Distinct roles of oxidative stress and anti-oxidants in nucleus dorsalis and red nucleus following spinal cord hemisection. Brain Res. 1055, 137-142.
Xu, M., Ng, Y.K., and Wong, P. 2002. Localization of neuronal nitric oxide synthase in the central nervous system. Method Enzymol. 359, 424-432.
Xu, M., Ng, Y.K., and Leong, S.K. 2000. Distinct subcellular localization and mRNA expression of neuronal nitric oxide synthase in the nucleus dorsalis and red nucleus and their correlation with inducible transcription factors after spinal cord hemisection. Nitric Oxide: Biology and Chemistry 4, 483-495 (Front cover feature).
Xu, M., Ng, Y.K., and Leong, S.K. 2000. Neuroprotective and neurodestructive functions of nitric oxide after spinal cord hemisection. Exp. Neurol. 161, 472-480.
Xu, M., Ng, Y.K., and Leong, S.K. 1998. Induction of microglial reaction and expression of nitric oxide synthase in the nucleus dorsalis and red nucleus following lower thoracic spinal cord hemisection. Brain Res. 808, 23-30.