Assistant Professor of Cell Biology, Development and Physiology
Our lab goal is to understand glial function at the animal, cell, and molecular level in order to elucidate mechanisms of normal development and disease progression.
The main research focus includes:
The role of Golgi outposts in acentrosomal microtubule nucleation in oligodendrocytes. Our lab is investigating partner proteins that work in concert with the microtubule nucleator TPPP to organize microtubules. In addition, we are making important observations on the biophysical properties of TPPP and how this can lead to aggregation in neurodegenerative diseases.
- Mechanisms of mRNA transport in oligodendrocytes. Our lab is using mouse models to understand the importance of mRNA transport in in vivo myelination. We are also using biochemical and biophysical techniques to identify the molecular players involved in these transport processes.
New topics of interest include:
1. Mechanisms of leukodystrophies. This is a disease primarily affecting children and results in inefficient myelination. Because many leukodystrophies are caused by an underlying genetic mutation, we believe these mutated genes also help inform us of critical and understudied steps in normal myelination.
2. Cytoskeletal organization of astrocytes. Astrocytes are ramified cells that contain microtubules, actin, and intermediate filaments, but it is unclear how these 3 classes of cytoskeleton interact with each other to form the complex morphology of astrocytes.
Nguyen H, Meservey L, Ishiko-Silviera N, Zhou M, Huang TT, Fu MM (2020). Fear deficits in hypomyelinated Tppp knockout mice. eNeuro, 7(5): ENEURO.0170-20.2020.
Fu MM [corresponding], McAlear T, Nguyen H, Oses-Prieto JA, Valenzuela A, Shi R, Perrino JJ, Huang TT, Burlingame AL, Bechstedt S, Barres BA (2019). The Golgi outpost protein TPPP nucleates microtubules and is critical for myelination. Cell 179:132-146.
Herbert AL, Fu MM [co-first, co-corresponding], Drerup CM, Gray RS, Harty BL, Ackerman SD, O’Reilly-Pol T, Johnson SL, Nechiporuk AV, Barres BA, Monk KR (2017). Dynein/dynactin is necessary for anterograde transport of Mbp mRNA in oligodendrocytes and for myelination in vivo. PNAS 114(43): E9153-E9162.
Fu MM, Nirschl JJ, Holzbaur EL (2014). LC3 binding to the scaffolding protein JIP1 regulates processive dynein-driven transport of autophagosomes. Dev. Cell 29(5):577-590.
Fu MM, Holzbaur EL (2013). JIP1 regulates the directionality of APP axonal transport by coordinating kinesin and dynein motors. J. Cell Biol. 202(3):495-508.
Nowacki J, Fields A, Fu MM (2022). Emerging cellular themes in leukodystrophies. Frontiers Cell Dev. Bio. 78: 102119.
Kemal S, Richardson H, Dyne E, Fu MM (2022). Satellite ER and Golgi in axons, dendrites, and glial processes. Curr. Opin. Cell Bio. 10: 902261.
Meservey L, Topkar V, Fu MM (2021). mRNA transport and local translation in glia. Trends Cell Biol., 31(6): 419-423.
Valenzuela A, Meservey L, Nguyen H, Fu MM (2020). Golgi outposts nucleate microtubules in cells with specialized shapes. Trends Cell Biol., 30(10): 792-804.
Weigel M, Wang L, Nguyen H, Valenzuela A, Fu MM (2020). Microtubule organization and dynamics in oligodendrocytes, astrocytes, and microglia. Dev. Neurobiol. 81(3): 310-320.
Last Updated 2023-02-13