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Yishi Jin, PhD

Division of Biological Sciences, Section of Neurobiology
Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine

Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Contact Information

Phone: 858.534.7754
Lab Phone: 858.534.7820
Location: Bonner Hall 2418

Mailing Address:
University of California, San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive #0368
La Jolla, CA 92093

Lab Website

Research Title
Neural development and regeneration in C. elegans

Research Description
Signal transduction from neurons to their targets depends on specialized subcellular structures at synaptic junctions. A typical chemical synapse is composed of three compartments: a presynaptic terminal for rapid neurotransmitter release, a postsynaptic site that is rich in neurotransmitter receptors to receive the signal, and a synaptic cleft that bridges the pre- and postsynaptic partners and maintains them in precise registration. The size and organization of synapses vary widely between neuronal types and are modulated by experience. The general processes of synaptogenesis and how such processes give rise to the diversity of synapses in the nervous system are topics under intense investigation. We use the simple nervous system of the nematode C. elegans to examine how synapses are formed. This nervous system is composed of only 302 neurons, and its entire connectivity is known at the ultrastructural level. Moreover, most of the synaptic connections can be observed in living animals using fluorescent-protein markers. Our studies have provided insights into synaptogenesis and axon guidance. We have also begun to explore the possibility of studying nerve regeneration in C. elegans.

Wang, Z., Hou, Y., Guo, X., van der Voet, M., Boxem, M., Dixon, J. E., and Jin, Y. (2013) The EBAX-type Cullin-RING E3 ligase and Hsp90 guard the protein quality of the SAX-3/Robo receptor in developing neurons. Neuron, 79: 903-16.

Stawicki, T. M., Takayanagi-Kiya, S. Zhou, K., and Jin, Y. (2013) Neuropeptides Function to Dampen Severity of Epileptic-Like Convulsions in C. elegans. PLoS Genetics, 9 (5):e1003472.

Yan, D., and Jin, Y. (2012). The DLK-1 kinase is activated by calcium-mediated dissociation from an inhibitory isoform in C. elegans neuronal development and axon regeneration. Neuron, 76:534-48.

Qi, B. Y., Garren, E., Shu, X., Tsien, R. Y., and Jin, Y. (2012). Photo-inducible cell ablation in C. elegansusing the genetically encoded singlet oxygen generating protein miniSOG. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 109:7499-504

Stawicki, T.M., Zhou, K., Yochem J., Chen, L., and Jin, Y. (2011). TRPM channels modulate epileptic-like convulsions via systemic ion homeostasis. Current Biology 21(10):883-888. Van Epps, H., Dai, Y., Qi, Y. B., Goncharov, A., and Jin, Y. (2010). Nuclear pre-mRNA 3’ end cleavage and polyadenylation regulate synapse and axon development in C. elegans. Development, 137:2237-2250.

Yan, D., Wu, Z., Chisholm, A. D., and Jin, Y. (2009). The DLK-1 kinase promotes mRNA stability and local translation in synapses and axon regeneration. Cell 138:1005-1018. Jospin, M., Stawicki, T., Qi, Y.B., Boulin, T., Horvitz, H. R., Bessereau, J. L., Jorgensen, E., and Jin, Y. (2009). An neuronal acetylcholine receptor regulates C. elegans locomotion. PLoS Biol. Dec;7(12):e1000265.

Nakata, K., Abrams, B., Grill, B., Goncharov, A., Huang, X., Chisholm, A. D., and Jin, Y. (2005). Regulation of a DLK-1 and p38 MAP kinase pathway by the ubiquitin ligase RPM-1 is required for presynaptic development. Cell 120:407-420.

Yanik, M. F., Cinar, H., Cinar, H. N., Chisholm, A. D., Jin, Y., and Ben-Yakar, A. (2004). Neurosurgery: functional regeneration after laser axotomy. Nature 432:822. Zhen, M., Huang, X., Bamber, B., and Jin, Y. 2000. Regulation of presynaptic terminal organization by C. elegans RPM-1, a putative guanine nucleotide exchanger with a Ring-H2 finger domain. Neuron 26:331-343.

Zhen, M., and Jin, Y. 1999. The liprin protein SYD-2 regulates the differentiation of presynaptic termini in C. elegans. Nature 401:371-375. Hallam, S.J., and Jin, Y. 1998 lin-14 regulates the timing of synaptic remodeling in Caenorhabditis elegans. Nature 395:78-82.

View list of publications on PubMed