Forebrain-specific promoter/enhancer D6 derived from the mouse Dach1 gene controls expression in neural stem cells

Neuroscience. 2002;112(4):951-66. doi: 10.1016/s0306-4522(02)00053-2.


Drosophila dachshund is involved in development of eye and limbs and in the development of mushroom bodies, a brain structure required for learning and memory in flies. Its mouse homologue mDach1 is expressed in various embryonic tissues, including limbs, the eye, the dorsal spinal cord and the forebrain. We have isolated a forebrain-specific 2.5-kb enhancer element termed D6 from the mouse mDach1 gene and created D6-LacZ and D6-green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter gene mouse lines. In embryonic stages, the D6 enhancer activity is first detected at embryonic day 10.5 in scattered cells of the outbuldging cortical vesicles. By embryonic day 12.5, D6 activity expands throughout the developing neocortex and the hippocampus. In the adult mouse brain, D6 enhancer is active in neurons of the cortical plate, in the CA1 layer of the hippocampus and in cells of the subventricular zone and the ventricular ependymal zone. Adult mice also show D6 activity in the olfactory bulb and in the mamillary nucleus. Cultured D6-positive cells, which were derived from embryonic and postnatal brains, show characteristics of neural stem cells. They form primary and secondary neurospheres that differentiate into neurons and astrocytes as examined by cell-specific markers.Our results show that D6 enhancer exerts highly tissue-specific activity in the neurons of the neocortex and hippocampus and in neural stem cells. Moreover, the fluorescence cell sorting of D6-GFP cells from embryonic and postnatal stages allows specific selection of primary neural progenitors and their analysis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Culture Techniques
  • Enhancer Elements, Genetic*
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Genes, Regulator*
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • Hippocampus / metabolism
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Lac Operon / genetics
  • Luminescent Proteins / analysis
  • Luminescent Proteins / genetics
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Neocortex / metabolism
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Prosencephalon*
  • Stem Cells / metabolism*


  • Luminescent Proteins
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins