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

A role for the POU-III transcription factor Brn-4 in the regulation of striatal neuron precursor differentiation.

Both insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) induce the differentiation of post-mitotic neuronal precursors, derived from embryonic day 14 ( E14) mouse striatal multipotent stem cells. Here we ask whether this differentiation is mediated by a member of the POU-III class of neural transcription factors. Exposure of stem cell progeny to either IGF-I or BDNF resulted in a rapid upregulation of Brn-4 mRNA and protein. Indirect immunocytochemistry with Brn-4 antiserum showed that the protein was expressed in newly generated neurons. Other POU-III genes, such as Brn-1 and Brn-2, did not exhibit this upregulation. Basic FGF, a mitogen for these neuronal precursors, did not stimulate Brn-4 expression. In the E14 mouse striatum, Brn-4-immunoreactive cells formed a boundary between the nestin-immunoreactive cells of the ventricular zone and the beta-tubulin-immunoreactive neurons migrating into the mantle zone. Loss of Brn-4 function during the differentiation of stem cell-derived or primary E14 striatal neuron precursors, by inclusion of antisense oligonucleotides, caused a reduction in the number of beta-tubulin-immunoreactive neurons. These findings suggest that Brn-4 mediates, at least in part, the actions of epigenetic signals that induce striatal neuron-precursor differentiation.[1]


  1. A role for the POU-III transcription factor Brn-4 in the regulation of striatal neuron precursor differentiation. Shimazaki, T., Arsenijevic, Y., Ryan, A.K., Rosenfeld, M.G., Weiss, S. EMBO J. (1999) [Pubmed]
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