Ptf1a/Rbpj complex inhibits ganglion cell fate and drives the specification of all horizontal cell subtypes in the chick retina

Centre de Recherche des Cordeliers, INSERM UMR S872, 75006 Paris, France.
Developmental Biology (Impact Factor: 3.64). 07/2011; 358(2):296-308. DOI: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2011.07.033
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT During development, progenitor cells of the retina give rise to six principal classes of neurons and the Müller glial cells found within the adult retina. The pancreas transcription factor 1 subunit a (Ptf1a) encodes a basic-helix-loop-helix transcription factor necessary for the specification of horizontal cells and the majority of amacrine cell subtypes in the mouse retina. The Ptf1a-regulated genes and the regulation of Ptf1a activity by transcription cofactors during retinogenesis have been poorly investigated. Using a retrovirus-mediated gene transfer approach, we reported that Ptf1a was sufficient to promote the fates of amacrine and horizontal cells from retinal progenitors and inhibit retinal ganglion cell and photoreceptor differentiation in the chick retina. Both GABAergic H1 and non-GABAergic H3 horizontal cells were induced following the forced expression of Ptf1a. We describe Ptf1a as a strong, negative regulator of Atoh7 expression. Furthermore, the Rbpj-interacting domains of Ptf1a protein were required for its effects on cell fate specification. Together, these data provide a novel insight into the molecular basis of Ptf1a activity on early cell specification in the chick retina.

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