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    By Alpha|By Interest|Emeritus

David L. Turner, Ph.D.
Associate Research Professor
Associate Professor, Dept of Biological Chemistry

5051 BSRB
109 Zina Pitcher Place
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2200



(734) 647-6890



Current Research Interests:

The Turner lab studies gene regulation and cell identity during development of the mammalian nervous system. We are interested in understanding how networks of gene regulation control the formation of specific types of neurons during mammalian development

Over the past decade, it has become apparent that numerous endogenous small RNAs are essential regulators for genes in mammals. Several hundred genes in mammals encode microRNAs: ~21-22 nucleotide RNAs that regulate the translation and/or stability of target mRNAs via sequence-specific interactions. We have identified microRNAs that can alter cell identity in the developing nervous system and are working to understand how these microRNAs fit into known or novel regulatory networks during development.

Currently we use the developing mouse retina as our primary model system. We are using sequencing methods (small RNA-seq, PAR-CLIP, RNA-seq) to identify candidate regulatory genes and microRNA targets. We use CRISPR/Cas9, RNA interference (RNAi), and other methods to assess gene function in differentiating neurons. We have developed an in situ hybridization technique for visualizing the expression of miRNAs in mammalian tissue sections. We are currently testing an improved methodology with fluorescent detection of microRNAs in tissues. We have also developed both RNA polymerase III-based and RNA polymerase II-based expression vectors for mammalian RNAi. These vectors can be used to inhibit gene expression in neurons and other cells. We are using these tools to study the function of retinal genes regulated by microRNAs.

Selected Publications:

Liu Y-H., Tsai J-W., Chen J-L., Yang W-S., Chang P-C., Cheng P-L., Turner D. L., Yanagawa Y., Wang T-W., Yu J-Y. (2017)
Ascl1 promotes tangential migration and confines migratory routes by induction of Ephb2 in the telencephalon. Sci Rep. 2017 7: 42895.

Huang H. S., Redmond T.M., Kubish G. M., Gupta S., Thompson R. C., Turner D. L. Uhler M. D. (2015).
Transcriptional regulatory events initiated by Ascl1 and Neurog2 during neuronal differentiation of P19 embryonic carcinoma cells. J Mol Neurosci 55: 684-705.

Zhang H., Deo, M, Thompson, R. C., Uhler, M. D. and Turner, D. L. (2012).
Negative regulation of Yap during neuronal differentiation. Dev Biol. 361: 103-15. Epub 2011 Oct 18.

Yu, J-Y., Chung, K-H., , Deo, M., Thompson, R. C. and Turner, D. L. (2008).
MicroRNA miR-124a regulates neurite outgrowth during neuronal differentiation. Exp. Cell Res. 314: 2618-2633.

Thompson, R.C., Deo, M., and Turner, D.L. (2007).
Analysis of microRNA expression by in situ hybridization with RNA oligonucleotide probes. Methods 43: 153-161.

Deo, M., Yu, J-Y., Chung, K-H., Tippens, M. and Turner, D.L. (2006).
Detection of mammalian microRNA expression by in situ hybridization with RNA oligonucleotides. Developmental Dynamics, .235: 2538-48

Chung, K-H. Hart, C.C., Al-Bassam, S., Avery, A., Taylor, J., Patel, P.D., Vojtek, A.B., and Turner D.L. (2006).
Polycistronic RNA polymerase II expression vectors for RNA interference based on BIC/miR-155. Nucleic Acids Res. 34: e53.

Yu, J-Y., DeRuiter, S. L., and Turner, D. L. (2002).
RNA interference by expression of short-interfering RNAs and hairpin RNAs in mammalian cells. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, Vol. 99: 6047-6052.

Farah, M. H., Olson, J. M., Sucic, H. B., Hume, R. I., Tapscott, S. J., and   Turner, D. L. (2000).
Generation of neurons by transient expression of neural bHLH proteins in mammalian cells. Development: 127, 693-702.

Selected Publications:

View publications on PubMed - NCBI



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