Intricate molecular interactions between neurons and glial
cells form the underlying basis of axonal insulation across species. Mutations in human genes that affect
insulation of axons are associated with profound disturbances in normal impulse
conduction and significant neurological disabilities.
Dr. Manzoor Bhat's lab is investigating the genetic and molecular
basis of complex and reciprocal interactions between various types of glial
cells, which play a key role in axonal insulation, blood-brain barrier
formation and axon guidance during Drosophila development.
identified Neurexin IV, Contactin and Neuroglian as key molecular components of
the glial- and axo-glial septate junctions and showed that these proteins are
crucial for the organization and function of the septate junctions. Recent studies in our lab have uncovered
additional molecular components which link the midline glial scaffold with
midline neurons to bring about commissural axon insulation and proper midline
Banerjee S, Riordan M, Bhat MA. Genetic aspects of autism spectrum disorders: insights from animal models. Front Cell Neurosci. 2014 Feb 24;8:58.
Green JA, Yang J, Grati M, Kachar B, Bhat MA. Whirlin, a cytoskeletal scaffolding protein, stabilizes the paranodal region and axonal cytoskeleton in myelinated axons. BMC Neurosci. 2013 Sep 6;14:96.
Buttermore ED, Thaxton CL, Bhat MA. Organization and maintenance of molecular domains in myelinated axons. J Neurosci Res. 2013 May;91(5):603-22.
Chen YC, Lin YQ, Banerjee S, Venken K, Li J, Ismat A, Chen K, Duraine L, Bellen HJ, Bhat MA. Drosophila neuroligin 2 is required presynaptically and postsynaptically for proper synaptic differentiation and synaptic transmission. J Neurosci. 2012 Nov 7;32(45):16018-30.
Buttermore ED, Piochon C, Wallace ML, Philpot BD, Hansel C, Bhat MA. Pinceau organization in the cerebellum requires distinct functions of neurofascin in Purkinje and basket neurons during postnatal development. J Neurosci. 2012 Apr 4;32(14):4724-42.