The transcription factor Pax6 balances cell proliferation and neuronal differentiation in the mammalian developing neocortex by regulating the expression of target genes. Using microarray analysis, we observed the down-regulation of Dmrta1 (doublesex and mab-3-related transcription factor-like family A1) in the telencephalon of Pax6 homozygous mutant rats (rSey2/rSey2). Dmrta1 expression was restricted to the neural stem/progenitor cells of the dorsal telencephalon. Overexpression of Dmrta1 induced the expression of the proneural gene Neurogenin2 (Neurog2) and conversely repressed Ascl1 (Mash1), a proneural gene expressed in the ventral telencephalon. We found that another Dmrt family molecule, Dmrt3, induced Neurog2 expression in the dorsal telencephalon. Our novel findings suggest that dual regulation of proneural genes mediated by Pax6 and Dmrt family members is crucial for cortical neurogenesis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology