Watkins Lab Happenings

Watkins Lab research to be published as eLife Research Advance

The Watkins Lab preprint, "Coordinated stimulation of axon regenerative and neurodegenerative transcriptional programs by Atf4 following optic nerve injury," has been selected for review as a Research Advance at eLife. The research study, headed by postdoctoral scholar Preethi Somasundaram, PhD, now a Scientist at GENEWIZ, uncovers an integral role for the Integrated Stress Response (ISR) pathway following CNS axon injury. Our work revealed that the ISR, working primarily through the Activating Transcription Factor-4 (ATF4), coordinates with another transcription factor, c-Jun, to regulate both neuronal survival and axon regenerative potential. Innovative cross-study comparisons of new and published transcriptomics datasets enabled these new insights regarding the crosstalk between injury response pathways that control the fates of neurons following axon injury.

As a Research Advance, this study represents an important step forward from our previous study of the ISR published in eLife, "Dual leucine zipper kinase-dependent PERK activation contributes to neuronal degeneration following insult."

With eLife's innovative publishing model, the manuscript will ultimately be published by eLife with an assessment provided by reviewers and editors. That assessment will provide an excellent opportunity to improve and refine the study and the manuscript before it becomes the "version of record."