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Gene Review

Neurod4  -  neurogenic differentiation 4

Mus musculus

Synonyms: AI846749, ATH-3, Ath3, Atoh3, Helix-loop-helix protein mATH-3, ...
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Disease relevance of Neurod4


High impact information on Neurod4

  • Here, to address this problem, we generated mice double mutant for the as-c homolog Mash1 and the ato homolog Math3 [3].
  • Conversion of ectoderm into a neural fate by ATH-3, a vertebrate basic helix-loop-helix gene homologous to Drosophila proneural gene atonal [1].
  • In a Xenopus animal cap assay, ATH-3 is able to convert ectodermal cells into neurons expressing anterior markers without inducing mesoderm [1].
  • These results provide evidence that ATH-3 can directly convert non-neural or undetermined cells into a neural fate, and suggest that the Ser residue in the basic region may be critical for the regulation of ATH-3 activity by phosphorylation [1].
  • Math3 and NeuroD regulate amacrine cell fate specification in the retina [4].

Biological context of Neurod4

  • These results indicate that Math3 and NeuroD are essential, but not sufficient, for amacrine cell genesis, and that co-expression of the basic helix-loop-helix and homeobox genes is required for specification of the correct neuronal subtype [4].
  • These results indicated that Mash1 and Math3 direct neuronal versus glial fate determination in the CNS and raised the possibility that downregulation of these bHLH genes is one of the mechanisms to initiate gliogenesis [3].
  • These results indicate that Math3 promoter contains two essential regulatory regions, the proximal 193-base pair region, which confers efficient neural-specific expression, and a region further upstream, required for retinal expression [2].
  • Math3 gene consists of two exons separated by an 8-kilobase intron, and the whole protein-coding region is located in the second exon [2].
  • In math5-null progenitor cells, there was an up-regulation of the proneural genes math3, neuroD, and ngn2, indicating that Math5 suppresses the production of other cell types in addition to promoting retinal ganglion cell formation [5].

Anatomical context of Neurod4

  • Whereas in Mash1 or Math3 single mutants neurogenesis is only weakly affected, in the double mutants tectal neurons, two longitudinal columns of hindbrain neurons and retinal bipolar cells were missing and, instead, those cells that normally differentiate into neurons adopted the glial fate [3].
  • In the absence of Mash1 and Math3, expression of Notch signaling components is severely downregulated in rhombomere 4 and neural progenitors are not properly maintained, which may lead to intermingling of neurons and a decrease in oligodendrocyte progenitors [6].

Other interactions of Neurod4

  • In contrast, misexpression of Mash1 or Math3 together with Chx10 increased the population of mature bipolar cells and decreased that of Müller glia [7].
  • Misexpression of Mash1 or Math3 alone did not promote bipolar cell genesis either, but inhibited Müller gliogenesis [7].
  • In addition, double mutation of the neuronal determination genes Mash1 and Math3, which increases Müller glia at the expense of bipolar cells, upregulated hesr2 expression [8].


  1. Conversion of ectoderm into a neural fate by ATH-3, a vertebrate basic helix-loop-helix gene homologous to Drosophila proneural gene atonal. Takebayashi, K., Takahashi, S., Yokota, C., Tsuda, H., Nakanishi, S., Asashima, M., Kageyama, R. EMBO J. (1997) [Pubmed]
  2. Structure and promoter analysis of Math3 gene, a mouse homolog of Drosophila proneural gene atonal. Neural-specific expression by dual promoter elements. Tsuda, H., Takebayashi, K., Nakanishi, S., Kageyama, R. J. Biol. Chem. (1998) [Pubmed]
  3. Mammalian achaete-scute and atonal homologs regulate neuronal versus glial fate determination in the central nervous system. Tomita, K., Moriyoshi, K., Nakanishi, S., Guillemot, F., Kageyama, R. EMBO J. (2000) [Pubmed]
  4. Math3 and NeuroD regulate amacrine cell fate specification in the retina. Inoue, T., Hojo, M., Bessho, Y., Tano, Y., Lee, J.E., Kageyama, R. Development (2002) [Pubmed]
  5. A gene network downstream of transcription factor Math5 regulates retinal progenitor cell competence and ganglion cell fate. Mu, X., Fu, X., Sun, H., Beremand, P.D., Thomas, T.L., Klein, W.H. Dev. Biol. (2005) [Pubmed]
  6. Mash1 and Math3 are required for development of branchiomotor neurons and maintenance of neural progenitors. Ohsawa, R., Ohtsuka, T., Kageyama, R. J. Neurosci. (2005) [Pubmed]
  7. Roles of homeobox and bHLH genes in specification of a retinal cell type. Hatakeyama, J., Tomita, K., Inoue, T., Kageyama, R. Development (2001) [Pubmed]
  8. The basic helix-loop-helix gene hesr2 promotes gliogenesis in mouse retina. Satow, T., Bae, S.K., Inoue, T., Inoue, C., Miyoshi, G., Tomita, K., Bessho, Y., Hashimoto, N., Kageyama, R. J. Neurosci. (2001) [Pubmed]
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