ZFIN ID: ZDB-LAB-170606-3
O'Brien Lab
PI/Director: O'Brien, John
Contact Person: Lin, Ya-Ping
Email: Ya-Ping.Lin@uth.tmc.edu
URL: https://gsbs.uth.edu/faculty/faculty-directory/faculty-profiles.htm?id=1346451
Address: Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Science The University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston 6431 Fannin St., MSB 7.024 Houston, TX 77030
Country: United States
Phone: (713) 500-5983
Fax: (713) 500-0682
Line Designation: uth

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The broad goal of the O’Brien lab is to understand the molecular mechanisms that control network adaptation in the retina, with a focus on the mechanisms that control electrical synapse plasticity. We study this at a number of levels, from the functional regulation of the channels themselves, through signaling mechanisms that control their function, and transcriptional changes that sculpt these signaling pathways. Among retinal neurons, we have focused largely on photoreceptor and amacrine cell electrical synaptic plasticity in the contexts of light adaptation and time of day. We use zebrafish and mammalian model systems as well as expression systems to study these mechanisms. The lab also studies the functional organization of electrical synapses throughout the central nervous system and the evolutionary relationships of connexins that form them.

Aseervatham, Jaya Post-Doc Lin, Ya-Ping Research Staff Mitchell, Cheryl Research Staff

Santhanam, A., Shihabeddin, E., Atkinson, J.A., Nguyen, D., Lin, Y.P., O'Brien, J. (2020) A Zebrafish Model of Retinitis Pigmentosa Shows Continuous Degeneration and Regeneration of Rod Photoreceptors. Cells. 9(10):
Miller, A.C., Whitebirch, A.C., Shah, A.N., Marsden, K.C., Granato, M., O'Brien, J., Moens, C.B. (2017) A genetic basis for molecular asymmetry at vertebrate electrical synapses. eLIFE. 6:e25364
Yoshikawa, S., Vila, A., Segelken, J., Lin, Y.P., Mitchell, C.K., Nguyen, D., O'Brien, J. (2017) Zebrafish Connexin 79.8 (Gja8a): A lens connexin used as an electrical synapse in some neurons. Developmental Neurobiology. 77(5):548-561
Li, H., Chuang, A.Z., O'Brien, J. (2014) Regulation of photoreceptor gap junction phosphorylation by adenosine in zebrafish retina. Visual neuroscience. 31:237-43
Li, H., Chuang, A.Z., and O'Brien, J. (2009) Photoreceptor coupling is controlled by connexin 35 phosphorylation in zebrafish retina. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 29(48):15178-15186