[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The role of the nuclear receptor TLX in hippocampal neurogenesis and cognition has just begun to be explored. In this study, we generated a transgenic mouse model that expresses TLX under the control of the promoter of nestin, a neural precursor marker. Transgenic TLX expression led to mice with enlarged brains with an elongated hippocampal dentate gyrus and increased numbers of newborn neurons. Specific expression of TLX in adult hippocampal dentate gyrus via lentiviral transduction increased the numbers of BrdU(+) cells and BrdU(+)NeuN(+) neurons. Furthermore, the neural precursor-specific expression of the TLX transgene substantially rescued the neurogenic defects of TLX-null mice. Consistent with increased neurogenesis in the hippocampus, the TLX transgenic mice exhibited enhanced cognition with increased learning and memory. These results suggest a strong association between hippocampal neurogenesis and cognition, as well as significant contributions of TLX to hippocampal neurogenesis, learning, and memory.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 06/2014;
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: DNA hydroxylation catalyzed by Tet dioxygenases occurs abundantly in embryonic stem cells and neurons in mammals. However, its biological function in vivo is largely unknown. Here, we demonstrate that Tet1 plays an important role in regulating neural progenitor cell proliferation in adult mouse brain. Mice lacking Tet1 exhibit impaired hippocampal neurogenesis accompanied by poor learning and memory. In adult neural progenitor cells deficient in Tet1, a cohort of genes involved in progenitor proliferation were hypermethylated and downregulated. Our results indicate that Tet1 is positively involved in the epigenetic regulation of neural progenitor cell proliferation in the adult brain.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although Wnt7a has been implicated in axon guidance and synapse formation, investigations of its role in the early steps of neurogenesis have just begun. We show here that Wnt7a is essential for neural stem cell self-renewal and neural progenitor cell cycle progression in adult mouse brains. Loss of Wnt7a expression dramatically reduced the neural stem cell population and increased the rate of cell cycle exit in neural progenitors in the hippocampal dentate gyrus of adult mice. Furthermore, Wnt7a is important for neuronal differentiation and maturation. Loss of Wnt7a expression led to a substantial decrease in the number of newborn neurons in the hippocampal dentate gyrus. Wnt7a-/- dentate granule neurons exhibited dramatically impaired dendritic development. Moreover, Wnt7a activated β-catenin and its downstream target genes to regulate neural stem cell proliferation and differentiation. Wnt7a stimulated neural stem cell proliferation by activating the β-catenin-cyclin D1 pathway, and promoted neuronal differentiation and maturation by inducing the β-catenin-neurogenin 2 pathway. Thus Wnt7a exercised critical control over multiple steps of neurogenesis by regulating genes involved in both cell cycle control and neuronal differentiation.
Molecular and cellular biology 04/2013; · 6.06 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A major challenge in cancer research field is to define molecular features that distinguish cancer stem cells from normal stem cells. In this study, we compared microRNA (miRNA) expression profiles in human glioblastoma stem cells and normal neural stem cells using combined microarray and deep sequencing analyses. These studies allowed us to identify a set of 10 miRNAs that are considerably up-regulated or down-regulated in glioblastoma stem cells. Among them, 5 miRNAs were further confirmed to have altered expression in three independent lines of glioblastoma stem cells by real-time RT-PCR analysis. Moreover, two of the miRNAs with increased expression in glioblastoma stem cells also exhibited elevated expression in glioblastoma patient tissues examined, while two miRNAs with decreased expression in glioblastoma stem cells displayed reduced expression in tumor tissues. Furthermore, we identified two oncogenes, NRAS and PIM3, as downstream targets of miR-124, one of the down-regulated miRNAs; and a tumor suppressor, CSMD1, as a downstream target of miR-10a and miR-10b, two of the up-regulated miRNAs. In summary, this study led to the identification of a set of miRNAs that are differentially expressed in glioblastoma stem cells and normal neural stem cells. Characterizing the role of these miRNAs in glioblastoma stem cells may lead to the development of miRNA-based therapies that specifically target tumor stem cells, but spare normal stem cells.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(4):e36248. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: TLX has been shown to play an important role in regulating the self-renewal and proliferation of neural stem cells in adult brains. However, the cellular distribution of endogenous TLX protein in adult brains remains to be elucidated. In this study, we used immunostaining with a TLX-specific antibody to show that TLX is expressed in both neural stem cells and transit-amplifying neural progenitor cells in the subventricular zone (SVZ) of adult mouse brains. Then, using a double thymidine analog labeling approach, we showed that almost all of the self-renewing neural stem cells expressed TLX. Interestingly, most of the TLX-positive cells in the SVZ represented the thymidine analog-negative, relatively quiescent neural stem cell population. Using cell type markers and short-term BrdU labeling, we demonstrated that TLX was also expressed in the Mash1+ rapidly dividing type C cells. Furthermore, loss of TLX expression dramatically reduced BrdU label-retaining neural stem cells and the actively dividing neural progenitor cells in the SVZ, but substantially increased GFAP staining and extended GFAP processes. These results suggest that TLX is essential to maintain the self-renewing neural stem cells in the SVZ and that the GFAP+ cells in the SVZ lose neural stem cell property upon loss of TLX expression.Understanding the cellular distribution of TLX and its function in specific cell types may provide insights into the development of therapeutic tools for neurodegenerative diseases by targeting TLX in neural stem/progenitors cells.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(8):e43324. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: miR-137 is a brain-enriched microRNA. Its role in neural development remains unknown. Here we show that miR-137 has an essential role in controlling embryonic neural stem cell fate determination. miR-137 negatively regulates cell proliferation and accelerates neural differentiation of embryonic neural stem cells. In addition, we show that the histone lysine-specific demethylase 1 (LSD1), a transcriptional co-repressor of nuclear receptor TLX, is a downstream target of miR-137. In utero electroporation of miR-137 in embryonic mouse brains led to premature differentiation and outward migration of the transfected cells. Introducing a LSD1 expression vector lacking the miR-137 recognition site rescued miR-137-induced precocious differentiation. Furthermore, we demonstrate that TLX, an essential regulator of neural stem cell self-renewal, represses the expression of miR-137 by recruiting LSD1 to the genomic regions of miR-137. Thus, miR-137 forms a feedback regulatory loop with TLX and LSD1 to control the dynamics between neural stem cell proliferation and differentiation during neural development.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Proper development of the mammalian brain requires that neural progenitor cells balance self-renewal and differentiation under precise temporal and spatial regulation, but the underlying mechanisms are not well understood. In this study, we identify Gα subunit as a positive regulator of mammalian neurogenesis, working with the regulator of G protein signaling (RGS)-mediated ephrin-B signaling pathway as two opposing forces to maintain a balance between self-renewal and differentiation in the developing mouse cerebral cortex. Multiple Gα(i) subunits are expressed by cortical neural progenitor cells during the course of cortical neurogenesis. Activation of Gα(i) signaling, through in utero electroporation-mediated expression of wild-type and constitutively active Gα(i) subunits, counteracts the function of ephrin-B in cortical neural progenitors to induce differentiation. Genetic knock-in of an RGS-insensitive G184SGα(i2) causes early cell cycle exit and a reduction of cortical neural progenitor cells and leads to a defect in the production of late born cortical neurons, similar to what is observed in mutant mice with deficiency in ephrin-B reverse signaling pathway. This study reveals a role of Gα subunit in mammalian neurogenesis and uncovers a developmental mechanism, coordinated by the Gα and ephrin-B signaling pathways, for control of the balance between self-renewal and differentiation in neural progenitor cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neural progenitor cells in the ventricular zone of the developing mammalian cerebral cortex give rise to specialized cortical cell types via consecutive rounds of proliferation and differentiation, but the mechanisms by which progenitor cell self-renewal and differentiation are regulated during cortical development are not well understood. Here, we show that zinc-finger and homeodomain protein 2 (ZHX2) is specifically expressed in neural progenitor cells during cortical neurogenesis. ZHX2 binds to the cytoplasmic domain of ephrin-B1, which is expressed in cortical neural progenitors and plays a role in neural progenitor cell maintenance. ZHX2 acts as a transcriptional repressor in cell, and its repressor activity is enhanced by coexpression of an ephrin-B1 intracellular domain. Blocking ZHX2 function in cultured neural progenitor cells or in the embryonic cortex causes neuronal differentiation, whereas overexpression of ZHX2 and an ephrin-B1 intracellular domain disrupts the normal differentiation of cortical neural progenitor cells. This study identifies ZHX2 as a novel regulator of neural progenitor cell maintenance and suggests a potential nuclear mechanism of the ephrin-B function in the cortex.
Journal of Neuroscience 07/2009; 29(23):7404-12. · 6.91 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Maintaining a balance between self-renewal and differentiation in neural progenitor cells during development is important to ensure that correct numbers of neural cells are generated. We report that the ephrin-B-PDZ-RGS3 signaling pathway functions to regulate this balance in the developing mammalian cerebral cortex. During cortical neurogenesis, expression of ephrin-B1 and PDZ-RGS3 is specifically seen in progenitor cells and is turned off at the onset of neuronal differentiation. Persistent expression of ephrin-B1 and PDZ-RGS3 prevents differentiation of neural progenitor cells. Blocking RGS-mediated ephrin-B1 signaling in progenitor cells through RNA interference or expression of dominant-negative mutants results in differentiation. Genetic knockout of ephrin-B1 causes early cell cycle exit and leads to a concomitant loss of neural progenitor cells. Our results indicate that ephrin-B function is critical for the maintenance of the neural progenitor cell state and that this role of ephrin-B is mediated by PDZ-RGS3, likely via interacting with the noncanonical G protein signaling pathway, which is essential in neural progenitor asymmetrical cell division.
The Journal of Cell Biology 07/2008; 181(6):973-83. · 10.82 Impact Factor