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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Growth arrest specific gene 1 is a positive growth regulator for the cerebellum.

Postnatal cerebellum development involves the generation of granule cells and Bergmann glias (BGs). The granule cell precursors are located in the external germinal layer (EGL) and the BG precursors are located in the Purkinje layer (PL). BGs extend their glial fibers into the EGL and facilitate granule cells' inward migration to their final location. Growth arrest specific gene 1 (Gas1) has been implicated in inhibiting cell-cycle progression in cell culture studies (G. Del Sal et al., 1992, Cell 70, 595--607). However, its growth regulatory function in the CNS has not been described. To investigate its role in cerebellar growth, we analyzed the Gas1 mutant mice. At birth, wild-type and mutant mice have cerebella of similar size; however, mature mutant cerebella are less than half the size of wild-type cerebella. Molecular and cellular examinations indicate that Gas1 mutant cerebella have a reduced number of granule cells and BG fibers. We provide direct evidence that Gas1 is required for normal levels of proliferation in the EGL and the PL, but not for their differentiation. Furthermore, we show that Gas1 is specifically and coordinately expressed in both the EGL and the BGs postnatally. These results support Gas1 as a common genetic component in coordinating EGL cell and BG cell proliferation, a link which has not been previously appreciated.[1]


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