Activity-dependent neuroprotective protein: a novel gene essential for brain formation

Brain Res Dev Brain Res. 2003 Aug 12;144(1):83-90. doi: 10.1016/s0165-3806(03)00162-7.


We have recently cloned the novel homeobox-containing activity-dependent neuroprotective protein (ADNP). In the current study, mouse ADNP was shown to be expressed at the time of neural tube closure, detected at E7.5 and increased on E9.5. Expression was augmented in the brain (E12.5), sustained throughout embryogenesis and regulated by VIP. To assess the function of ADNP, knockout mice were established. Detailed analysis revealed cranial neural tube closure failure and death on E8.5-9.0 of the ADNP-knockout embryos. The expression of Oct4, a gene associated with germ-line maintenance was markedly augmented in the knockout embryos. In contrast, the expression of Pax6, a gene crucial for cerebral cortex formation, was abolished in the brain primordial tissue of the knockout embryos. Thus, Pax6 and Oct4 constitute a part of the mechanism of action of ADNP on brain formation, inhibiting germ-line division while activating morphogenesis. In conclusion, ADNP is identified here as a new key gene essential for organogenesis in the developing embryo and may be implicated as a clinical target associated with proper neurodevelopment.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blotting, Northern / methods
  • Blotting, Western / methods
  • Brain / embryology*
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Embryo, Mammalian
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development*
  • Eye Proteins
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Gestational Age
  • Homeodomain Proteins / metabolism
  • In Situ Hybridization / methods
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout / embryology
  • Mice, Knockout / genetics
  • Mice, Knockout / metabolism
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / physiology
  • Octamer Transcription Factor-3
  • Organ Culture Techniques / methods
  • PAX6 Transcription Factor
  • Paired Box Transcription Factors
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis
  • RNA, Messenger / drug effects
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods
  • Time Factors
  • Transcription Factors*
  • Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide / pharmacology


  • Adnp protein, mouse
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Eye Proteins
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Octamer Transcription Factor-3
  • PAX6 Transcription Factor
  • Paired Box Transcription Factors
  • Pax6 protein, mouse
  • Pou5f1 protein, mouse
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide