Our research program focuses on ocular development, disease and regeneration, and we utilize the zebrafish, Danio rerio, as a model system for most of our studies. The zebrafish is an ideal model through which genes necessary for visual system development, function and regeneration can been identified. Zebrafish embryos are transparent during early development and their eyes are large and easily accessible.
Furthermore, eye development in zebrafish is analogous to that observed in other vertebrate embryos, and their eyes are structurally similar to the human eye, thereby providing an excellent model system in which one can address fundamental aspects of eye development. Indeed, many disrupted genes and pathways identified as integral to the formation of the zebrafish eye produce phenotypes that resemble disorders of the human visual system. Thus, characterization of the molecular mechanisms of eye development in zebrafish promises to facilitate a better understanding of these human pathologies. Moreover, the zebrafish regenerates its retina after injury making this an ideal system through which the molecular underpinnings of the regenerative process can be elucidated, and potential therapies developed and/or tested.
Our goal is to progress towards understanding the epigenetic regulation of retinal development from progenitor cell to differentiated neuron, and how these processes could operate during regeneration.
Selected Current Publications
Seritrakul P and JM Gross "Tet-mediated DNA hydroxymethylation regulates retinal neurogenesis by modulating cell-extrinsic signaling pathways" PLoS Genetics - in press (2017)
Johnston JJ. Wentzensen IM, Crenshaw M, Sapp JC, Lee C, Gross JM, Wallingford JB and LG Biesecker “Compound Heterozygous Alterations in Intraflagellar Transport Protein CLUAP1 in a Child with Joubert Syndrome” Cold Spring Harb Mol Case Stud. Jul 5;3(4) (2017)
James A, Lee C, Williams AM, Angileri K, Lathrop K, and JM Gross "The hyaloid vasculature facilitates basement membrane breakdown during choroid fissure closure in the zebrafish eye." Developmental Biology - 419(2):262-272 (2016)
Koenig K, Sun P, Meyer E, JM Gross “Cell Fate Determination During Eye Development in the Cephalopod Doryteuthis pealeii” Development Sep 1;143(17):3168-81. (2016)
Hanovice NJ, McMains E and JM Gross “A GAL4-inducible transgenic toolkit for the in vivo modulation of Rho GTPase activity in zebrafish” Developmental Dynamics – Aug;245(8):844-53. (2016)
Hanovice N, Daly CMS and JM Gross “N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor b (nsfb) is required for normal pigmentation of the zebrafish retinal pigmented epithelium” Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science – Nov 1;56(12):7535-44 (2015) [PDF]
Hartsock A, Arnold V, Lee C and JM Gross “In Vivo Analysis of Hyaloid Vasculature Morphogenesis in Zebrafish: A role for the lens in maturation and maintenance of the hyaloid” – Developmental Biology – 394(2):327-39 (2014)
Lee C, JB Wallingford and JM Gross – “Mutation in cluap1/qilin results in photoreceptor degeneration in zebrafish” – Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science – 55(7):4585-4592 (2014)
Seritrakul P and JM Gross “Expression of the de novo DNA Methyltransferases (dnmt3-dnmt8) during zebrafish lens development” - Developmental Dynamics - Feb;243(2):350-6 (2014)
Shine L, Kilty C, Gross JM, and B Kennedy “Vacuolar ATPases and their role in vision” in Retinal Degeneration 2013 (2014)
Daly CMS, Willer J, Gregg RG and JM Gross “snow white, a zebrafish model of Hermansky-Pudlak Syndrome Type 5” Genetics Oct;195(2):481-94. (2013)
Lee J, Lee BK and JM Gross “Bcl6a function is required during optic cup formation to prevent p53-dependent apoptosis and colobomata” Human Molecular Genetics Sep 1;22(17):3568-82 (2013)