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

BMP growth factors and Phox2 transcription factors can induce synaptotagmin I and neurexin I during sympathetic neuron development.

Synaptotagmin I and neurexin I mRNAs, coding for proteins involved in neurotransmitter secretion, become detectable in primary sympathetic ganglia shortly after initial induction of the noradrenergic transmitter phenotype. To test whether the induction of these more general neuronal genes is mediated by signals known to initiate noradrenergic differentiation in a neuronal subpopulation, we examined their expression in noradrenergic neurons induced by ectopic overexpression of growth and transcription factors. Overexpression of BMP4 or Phox2a in vivo results in synaptotagmin I and neurexin I expression in ectopically located noradrenergic cells. In vitro, BMP4 initiates synaptotagmin I and neurexin I expression in addition to tyrosine hydroxylase induction. Thus, the induction of synaptotagmin I and neurexin I, which are expressed in a large number of different neuron populations, can be accomplished by growth and transcription factors available only to a subset of neurons. These findings suggest that the initial expression of proteins involved in neurotransmitter secretion is regulated by different signals in different neuron populations.[1]


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