Transposon mutagenesis with coat color genotyping identifies an essential role for Skor2 in sonic hedgehog signaling and cerebellum development
ABSTRACT Correct development of the cerebellum requires coordinated sonic hedgehog (Shh) signaling from Purkinje to granule cells. How Shh expression is regulated in Purkinje cells is poorly understood. Using a novel tyrosinase minigene-tagged Sleeping Beauty transposon-mediated mutagenesis, which allows for coat color-based genotyping, we created mice in which the Ski/Sno family transcriptional co-repressor 2 (Skor2) gene is deleted. Loss of Skor2 leads to defective Purkinje cell development, a severe reduction of granule cell proliferation and a malformed cerebellum. Skor2 is specifically expressed in Purkinje cells in the brain, where it is required for proper expression of Shh. Skor2 overexpression suppresses BMP signaling in an HDAC-dependent manner and stimulates Shh promoter activity, suggesting that Skor2 represses BMP signaling to activate Shh expression. Our study identifies an essential function for Skor2 as a novel transcriptional regulator in Purkinje cells that acts upstream of Shh during cerebellum development.
SourceAvailable from: Andrés Hernández-García
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ABSTRACT: Purkinje cells of the developing cerebellum secrete the morphogen sonic hedgehog (SHH), which is required to maintain the proliferative state of granule cell precursors (GCPs) prior to their differentiation and migration to form the internal granule layer (IGL). Despite a wealth of knowledge regarding the function of SHH during cerebellar development, the upstream regulators of Shh expression during this process remain largely unknown. Here we report that the murine short stature homeobox 2 (Shox2) gene is required for normal Shh expression in dorsal-residing Purkinje cells. Using two different Cre drivers, we show that elimination of Shox2 in the brain results in developmental defects in the inferior colliculus and cerebellum. Specifically, loss of Shox2 in the cerebellum results in precocious differentiation and migration of GCPs from the external granule layer (EGL) to the IGL. This correlates with premature bone morphogenetic protein 4 (Bmp4) expression in granule cells of the dorsal cerebellum. The size of the neonatal cerebellum is reduced in Shox2-mutant animals, which is consistent with a reduction in the number of GCPs present in the EGL, and could account for the smaller vermis and thinner IGL present in adult Shox2-mutants. Shox2-mutant mice also display reduced exploratory activity, altered gait and impaired motor coordination. Our findings are the first to show a role for Shox2 in brain development. We provide evidence that Shox2 plays an important role during cerebellar development, perhaps to maintain the proper balance of Shh and Bmp expression levels in the dorsal vermis, and demonstrate that in the absence of Shox2, mice display both cerebellar impairments and deficits in motor coordination, ultimately highlighting the importance of Shox2 in the cerebellum.Developmental Biology 12/2014; 399(1). DOI:10.1016/j.ydbio.2014.12.013 · 3.64 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Purkinje cells (PCs) provide the primary output from the cerebellar cortex, which controls movement and posture, and loss of PCs causes severe cerebellar dysfunction. The mechanisms underlying cell fate determination and early differentiation of PC remain largely unknown. Here we show that the c-Ski family member and transcriptional regulator Corl2 is required for correct differentiation of PCs. In Corl2 knock-out embryos, initial PC specification appeared largely normal, but in a subset of presumptive PCs generated near the ventral border of the PC domain, cell fate choice was compromised and cells showed a mixed identity expressing the interneuron marker Pax2 as well. Additionally, selection and maintenance of the transmitter phenotype was compromised in most developing PCs in the mutants. During later differentiation steps, induction of PC marker genes was significantly suppressed, suggesting that maturation was delayed in the absence of Corl2. Consistently, defects in migration, cell polarization and dendrite formation were observed in mutant PCs, although their axonal trajectories appeared normal. These phenotypes closely resembled those of mutants for Rora, an essential regulator of PC differentiation. However, Rora expression was not significantly changed in the Corl2 mutants, indicating that Corl2 does not simply act upstream of Rora to promote PC differentiation. ChIP experiments revealed that Corl2 bound to the promoter regions of several PC-selective genes, which are also known to be direct downstream targets of RORα. Altogether, our results identified a novel regulatory program of PC differentiation involving Corl2, which might cooperate with the RORα pathway.Developmental Biology 04/2014; 388(1). DOI:10.1016/j.ydbio.2014.01.016 · 3.64 Impact Factor