Kohtz Laboratory

Jhumku Kohtz, Ph.D.

Research Associate Professor, Developmental Biology Program

2430 North Halsted
Box 204 Room C.421K
Chicago, IL 60614-3394
Phone: (773) 755-6358
Fax: (773) 775-6385

  Year Degree Institution
  1999 Postdoc New York University Medical Center, NY
  1994 Postdoc Columbia University, NY
  1990 Ph.D., M.Ph., Cellular and Molecular Pathology Mount Sinai School of Medicine, City University of New York
  1983 B.S., Bioengineering Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science

Research Interests

Two major events occur in the developing nervous system. In the first, a pattern is created that results in the generation of different kinds of neurons depending on position in the embryo. In the second, neurons in a particular region multiply and diversify. My laboratory is studying how both of these events are controlled in the developing brain by the key regulator Sonic hedgehog (Shh).

The secreted Shh protein is known to be required for the formation of specific neurons in the brain and spinal cord. We find that different forms of the Shh protein affect different kinds of neurons in the embryo. In addition, we find that Shh activity can depend on the presence of other factors. These experiments are important to our basic understanding of how the brain forms during development.

In addition to its role in diversifying neurons, Shh has been shown to function in neuronal proliferation and survival. . For instance, it has recently been found that a particular form of Shh that we study can rescue neuronal loss that occurs during Parkinson's disease in an animal model. The involvement of Shh in the growth and survival of diverse neurons in the brain and spinal cord make it an ideal candidate protein to test for therapeutic effects in models of brain injury. Thus, understanding how Shh functions will be critical in designing tools to rescue neuronal degeneration or damage, by either using the Shh protein itself, or its target neurons.

Research Funding
  Title Funding Source Period Amount Duties
  Factors Involved in Shh Signaling in the Forebrain National institute for Child Health and Human Development 2003 - 2008 $1,273,313  
  A Novel ncRNA Involved in the Regulation of Dlx 5/6 National Institute for Child Health and Human Development 2005 - 2007 $388,820  
  Generation of a Knock-in Model for Evf ncRNAs CMRC PRA Award 2005 - 2006 $50,000  
  A Novel Transcriptional Coactivator CMRC Bridge Grant 2004 - 2005 $50,000  
  Shh signaling in the forebrain Howard Hughes Young Investigator Award 1999 - 2000 $150,000  

Lab Affiliations
  Kohtz Lab

Recent Publications

Tyurina, OY, Popova, E., Guner, B., Feng, J., Talbot, W.S., Schier, A.F., Kohtz, J.D., and Rolf O. Karlstrom. (January, 2005). Zebrafish Gli3 functions as both an activator and a repressor of Hh signaling.. Developmental Biology; vol 277: 537-556.

Feng, J., White, B., Tyurina, O.V., Guner, B., Larson, T., Lee, H.Y., Karlstrom, R.O., Kohtz., J.D. (May, 2004). Synergistic and antagonistic roles of the Sonic hedgehog N- and C-terminal lipids. . Development; vol 131: 4357-4370.

Kohtz, J.D., and Fishell, G. (January, 2004). Developmental Regulation of EVF-1, a Novel Non-coding RNA Transcribed Upstream of the Mouse Dlx6 Gene. . Mechanisms of Development, Gene Expression Patterns; vol 4: 407-412.

Hevner, RF, Daza, R.A.M., Englund, C., Kohtz, J.D., and Fink, A. (2004). Radial migration of interneurons in normal and reeler mouse parietal cortex: inward migration from the marginal zone (or superplate) to the cortical plate. . Neuroscience; vol 124: 605-618.

Lee, J.D., Kraus, P., Gaiano, N., Nery, S., Kohtz, J.D., Fishell, G., Loomis, C.A., Treisman, J.E. (May, 2001). An acylatable residue of Hedgehog is differentially required in Drosophila and mouse limb development. . Developmental Biology; vol 233: 122-136.

Kohtz, J.D., Lee, H.Y., Gaiano, N., Segal, J.D., Ng, E., Larson, T.A., Baker, D.P., Garber, E.A., Williams, K.P., Fishell, G. (April, 2001). N-terminal fatty-acylation of Sonic Hedgehog enhances the induction of rodent ventral forebrain neurons. . Development; vol 128: 2351-2363.

Moschella, M.C., Menzies, K., Tsao, L., Lieb, M., Kohtz, J.D., Kohtz, D.S., Taubman, M.B. (1999). SM-20 is a novel growth factor-responsive gene regulated during skeletal muscle development and differentiation. . Gene Expression; vol 8: 59-66.

Kohtz, J.D., Baker, D.P., Corte, G. and Fishell, G. (December, 1998). Regionalization within the mammalian telencephalon is mediated by changes in responsiveness to Sonic Hedgehog. . Development; vol 125: 5079-5089.

Gaiano, N., Kohtz, J.D., Turnbull, D. Fishell, G. (1998). A method for rapid gain of function studies in the mouse embryonic nervous system.. Nature Neuroscience; vol 2: 812-819.

Neyt, C., Welch, M., Langston, A., Kohtz, J.D., Fishell, G. (July, 1997). A short range signal restricts cell movement between telencephalic proliferative zones. Journal of Neuroscience; vol 17: 9194-9203.

Bermingham, J.R., Arden, K.C., Naumova, A.K., Sapienza, C., Viaus, C.S., Fu, X.D., Kohtz, J., Manley, J.L. and Rosenfeld, M.G. (September, 1995). Chromosomal localization of mouse and human genes encoding ASF/SF2 (Sfrs1) and SC-35 (Sfrs2). Genomics; vol 23: 70-79.

Kohtz, J.D., Jamison, S.F., Will, C., Garcia-Blanco, M., Luhrmann, R., and Manley, J.L. (1994). Specific protein-protein interactions between ASF/SF2 and U1 snRNP: A mechanism for 5' splice site selection in messenger RNA precursors. . Nature; vol 368: 119-124.

Puszkin, S., Kohtz, J.D., Schook, W., and Kohtz, D. (1989). Polypeptide heterogeneity in subpopulations of brain cltahrin-coated vesicles resolved with monoclonal antibodies. Journal of Neurochemistry; vol 53: 51-63.

Kohtz, D., Altman, A., Kohtz, J.D., and Puszkin, S. (February, 1988). Structural and immunological homology between the HTLV-I envelope glycoprotein and human interleukin . Journal of Virology; vol 62: 659-622.

Appel, J., Fasy, T., Kohtz, D., Kohtz, J.D., and Johnson, E. (1988). Asbestos mediates the transformation of monkey cells by exogenous plasmid DNA.. Proc. National Academy of Science, USA; vol 85: 7670-7674.

Kohtz, J.D., Kohtz, D., and Johnson, E. (1987). The role of c-myc in myoblast differentiation: analysis of transfected and fusion deficient lines. 19th Miami Winter Symposium: Advances in Gene Technology: The Molecular Biology of Development.

Kohtz, D., Hanson, V., Kohtz, J.D., Schook, W., and Puszkin, S. (1987). Mapping two functional domains of the clathrin light chains with monoclonal antibodies. . Journal of Cell Biology; vol 104: 897-903.


Recent Presentations

Kohtz, J.D. (2004). How the Brain Generates Neuronal Diversity: A Basic Question with Clinical Relevance. Children's Memorial Hospital Grand Rounds Speaker. Chicago, IL.

Kohtz, J.D. (2003). Gene/Environment Interactions in the Shh-GLI Pathway. PO1 Retreat Talk: Factors Involved in Shh Signaling. .

Kohtz, J.D. (2003). A Novel Non-Coding RNA Involved in Dlx 5/6 Regulation. CMRC Seminars in Biology and Chemistry. Chicago, IL.

Kohtz, J.D. (2003). Mechanisms Involved in Forebrain Patterning. IGP Talk. .

Kohtz, J.D. (2002). Signals Involved in Forebrain Development. Children's Memorial Hospital Grand Rounds. Chicago, IL.

Kohtz, J.D. (2002). Shh Signaling in the Forebrain. CMRC Seminars in Biology and Chemistry. Chicago, IL.

Kohtz, J.D. (2001). Sonic Hedgehog: A Common Signal Along the Rostrocaudal Neuraxis. NUIN Talk. .

Kohtz, J.D. (2000). Mechanisms Involved in Forebrain Patterning. N Talk. .

Kohtz, J.D. (2000). Modulation of Shh Signaling in the Forebrain. Winter Conference on Brain Research. Breckenridge, CO.

Kohtz, J.D. (1999). Signals involved in forebrain patterning. NUIN Retreat Talk. .

Kohtz, J.D. (1999). Signals Involved in Forebrain Patterning. IGP Talk. .

  2001 - Nomination for the Schweppe Scholar Award
  1999 - Howard Hughes Young Investigator Award

Professional Service
  2005 - Present Developmental Biology, reviewer 
  2005 - Present Reviewer for Nature Gateway Signaling
  2004 - 2005 NIH Study Section (RO1, R21, KO2, KO3) grant reviewer for Panel on Neurogenesis and Cell Fate
  2003 - 2004 Member, Center for Genetics, NWFSM
  2000 - 2003 Member, Society for Neuroscience

  Kohtz Laboratory