A homeodomain protein code specifies progenitor cell identity and neuronal fate in the ventral neural tube

Cell. 2000 May 12;101(4):435-45. doi: 10.1016/s0092-8674(00)80853-3.

Abstract

Distinct classes of neurons are generated at defined positions in the ventral neural tube in response to a gradient of Sonic Hedgehog (Shh) activity. A set of homeodomain transcription factors expressed by neural progenitors act as intermediaries in Shh-dependent neural patterning. These homeodomain factors fall into two classes: class I proteins are repressed by Shh and class II proteins require Shh signaling for their expression. The profile of class I and class II protein expression defines five progenitor domains, each of which generates a distinct class of postmitotic neurons. Cross-repressive interactions between class I and class II proteins appear to refine and maintain these progenitor domains. The combinatorial expression of three of these proteins--Nkx6.1, Nkx2.2, and Irx3--specifies the identity of three classes of neurons generated in the ventral third of the neural tube.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Central Nervous System / cytology
  • Central Nervous System / embryology*
  • Central Nervous System / metabolism
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development
  • Homeodomain Proteins / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Stem Cells / cytology
  • Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Transcription Factors / physiology*
  • Zebrafish Proteins

Substances

  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Irx3 protein, mouse
  • Nkx2.2 protein
  • Nkx6-1 protein, mouse
  • Transcription Factors
  • Zebrafish Proteins