ZFIN ID: ZDB-LAB-060123-1
Jessen Lab
PI/Director: Jessen, Jason R.
Contact Person: Jessen, Jason R.
Email: jason.jessen@mtsu.edu
URL: http://www.mtsu.edu/biology/faculty/jessen.php
Address: Department of Biology Middle Tennessee State University Science Building 2014 (office); 2011 (laboratory) P.O. Box 60 Murfreesboro, TN 37132
Country: United States
Phone: Office (615)898-2060
Line Designation: vu


The zebrafish system provides many tools to examine how cancer/metastasis proteins regulate normal morphogenetic processes at the cellular level and contribute to tumor formation in any organ of choice. By taking an integrative approach that combines embryology, biochemistry, molecular genetics, and genomics in zebrafish with studies in human cancer cell models, our laboratory is investigating fundamental morphogenetic processes common to vertebrate development, tumor formation, and metastasis.

Our laboratory is focusing on three areas:
1) Investigation of the normal molecular and cellular mechanisms whereby “cancer/metastasis-associated proteins” regulate embryonic morphogenesis
2) Development of zebrafish cancer models for a) uncovering how the abnormal activities of cancer/metastasis proteins influence tumorigenesis and/or sensitivity to carcinogens and b) identifying factors that contribute to the migration and invasiveness of human cancer cells
3) Establishing links between non-canonical Wnt signaling and tumor invasiveness, testing whether molecular mechanisms regulating cell migration behaviors during gastrulation are conserved in human cancer cells


Prince, D.J., Jessen, J.R. (2019) Dorsal convergence of gastrula cells requires a Vangl2 and adhesion protein-dependent change in protrusive activity. Development (Cambridge, England). 146(22):
Jessen, T.N., Jessen, J.R. (2018) VANGL2 protein stability is regulated by integrin αv and the extracellular matrix. Experimental cell research. 374(1):128-139
Love, A.M., Prince, D.J., Jessen, J.R. (2018) Vangl2-dependent regulation of membrane protrusions and directed migration requires a fibronectin extracellular matrix. Development (Cambridge, England). 145(22):
Hu, B., Gao, Y., Davies, L., Woo, S., Topczewski, J., Jessen, J.R., Lin, F. (2018) Glypican 4 and Mmp14 interact in regulating the migration of anterior endodermal cells by limiting extracellular matrix deposition. Development (Cambridge, England). 145(17):
Jessen, T.N., Jessen, J.R. (2017) VANGL2 interacts with integrin αv to regulate matrix metalloproteinase activity and cell adhesion to the extracellular matrix. Experimental cell research. 361(2):265-276
Roszko, I., Sepich, D., Jessen, J.R., Chandrasekhar, A., Solnica-Krezel, L. (2015) A dynamic intracellular distribution of Vangl2 accompanies cell polarization during zebrafish gastrulation. Development (Cambridge, England). 142(14):2508-20
Jessen, J.R. (2015) Recent advances in the study of zebrafish extracellular matrix proteins. Developmental Biology. 401(1):110-21
Dohn, M.R., Mundell, N.A., Sawyer, L.M., Dunlap, J.A., and Jessen, J.R. (2013) Planar cell polarity proteins differentially regulate extracellular matrix organization and assembly during zebrafish gastrulation. Developmental Biology. 383(1):39-51
Quick, R.E., Dunlap, J.A., and Jessen, J.R. (2012) Expression analysis of zebrafish membrane type-2 matrix metalloproteinases during embryonic development. Gene expression patterns : GEP. 12(7-8):254-260
Williams, B.B., Cantrell, V.A., Mundell, N.A., Bennett, A.C., Quick, R.E., and Jessen, J.R. (2012) VANGL2 regulates membrane trafficking of MMP14 to control cell polarity and migration. Journal of Cell Science. 125(9):2141-2147
Jessen, J.R. (2012) Analyzing planar cell polarity during zebrafish gastrulation. Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.). 839:69-78
Latimer, A., and Jessen, J.R. (2010) Extracellular matrix assembly and organization during zebrafish gastrulation. Matrix biology : journal of the International Society for Matrix Biology. 29(2):89-96
Zeng, X.X., Zheng, X., Xiang, Y., Cho, H.P., Jessen, J.R., Zhong, T.P., Solnica-Krezel, L., and Brown, H.A. (2009) Phospholipase D1 is required for angiogenesis of intersegmental blood vessels in zebrafish. Developmental Biology. 328(2):363-376
Jessen, J.R. (2009) Noncanonical Wnt Signaling in Tumor Progression and Metastasis. Zebrafish. 6(1):21-28
Latimer, A.J., and Jessen, J.R. (2008) hgf/c-met expression and functional analysis during zebrafish embryogenesis. Developmental dynamics : an official publication of the American Association of Anatomists. 237(12):3904-3915
Coyle, R.C., Latimer, A., and Jessen, J.R. (2008) Membrane-type 1 matrix metalloproteinase regulates cell migration during zebrafish gastrulation: Evidence for an interaction with non-canonical Wnt signaling. Experimental cell research. 314(10):2150-2162
Panizzi, J.R., Jessen, J.R., Drummond, I.A., and Solnica-Krezel, L. (2007) New functions for a vertebrate Rho guanine nucleotide exchange factor in ciliated epithelia. Development (Cambridge, England). 134(5):921-931
Bradley, K.M., Elmore, J.B., Breyer, J.P., Yaspan, B.L., Jessen, J.R., Knapik, E.W., and Smith, J.R. (2007) A major zebrafish polymorphism resource for genetic mapping. Genome biology. 8(4):R55
Penberthy, W.T., Zhao, C., Zhang, Y., Jessen, J.R., Yang, Z., Bricaud, O., Collazo, A., Meng, A., and Lin, S. (2004) Pur alpha and Sp8 as opposing regulators of neural gata2 expression. Developmental Biology. 275(1):225-234
Jessen, J.R., and Solnica-Krezel, L. (2004) Identification and developmental expression pattern of van gogh-like 1, a second zebrafish strabismus homologue. Gene expression patterns : GEP. 4(3):339-344
Brownlie, A., Hersey, C., Oates, A.C., Paw, B.H., Falick, A.M., Witkowska, H.E., Flint,J., Higgs, D., Jessen, J., Bahary, N., Zhu, H., Lin, S. and Zon, L. (2003) Characterization of embryonic globin genes of the zebrafish. Developmental Biology. 255(1):48-61
Jessen, J.R., Topczewski, J., Bingham, S., Sepich, D.S., Marlow, F., Chandrasekhar, A., and Solnica-Krezel, L. (2002) Zebrafish trilobite identifies new roles for Strabismus in gastrulation and neuronal movements. Nature cell biology. 4(8):610-615
Solnica-Krezel, L., Marlow, F., Topczewski, J., Jessen, J., and Sepich, D. (2002) Regulation of cell polarity during zebrafish gastrulation. Developmental Biology. 247(2):479
Solnica-Krezel, L., Topczewski, J., Sepich, D., Myers, D., Marlow, F., and Jessen, J. (2001) Genetic control of convergent extension movements during zebrafish gastrulation. Developmental Biology. 235(1):175 (#17)
Jessen, J.R., Jessen, T.N., Vogel, S.S., and Lin, S. (2001) Concurrent expression of recombination activating genes 1 and 2 in zebrafish olfactory sensory neurons. Genesis (New York, N.Y. : 2000). 29(4):156-162
Jessen, J.R., Willett, C.E., and Lin, S. (1999) Artificial chromosome transgenesis reveals long-distance negative regulation of rag1 in zebrafish. Nature Genetics. 23(1):15-16
Jessen, J.R. (1999) Artificial chromosome transgenesis reveals long-distance negative regulation of rag1 in zebrafish. Ph.D. Thesis.
Meng, A., Jessen, J.R., and Lin, S. (1999) Transgenesis. In The Zebrafish: Genetics and Genomics, H.W. Detrich, III, M. Westerfield, and L.I. Zon, eds., San Diego, CA: Academic Press, Methods Cell Biol.. 60:133-148
Jessen, J.R., Meng, A., McFarlane, R.J., Paw, B.H., Zon, L.I., Smith, G.R., and Lin, S. (1998) Modification of bacterial artificial chromosomes through Chi-stimulated homologous recombination and its application in zebrafish transgenesis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 95:5121-5126
Long, Q.M., Meng, A.M., Wang, H., Jessen, J.R., Farrell, M.J., and Lin, S. (1997) GATA-1 expression pattern can be recapitulated in living transgenic zebrafish using GFP reporter gene. Development (Cambridge, England). 124(20):4105-4111