Spatiotemporal expression pattern of Myt/NZF family zinc finger transcription factors during mouse nervous system development

Dev Dyn. 2014 Apr;243(4):588-600. doi: 10.1002/dvdy.24091. Epub 2013 Dec 19.


Background: Three members of the Myt/NZF family of transcription factors are involved in many processes of vertebrate development. Several studies have reported that Myt1/NZF-2 has a regulatory function in the development of cultured oligodendrocyte progenitors or in neuronal differentiation during Xenopus primary neurogenesis. However, little is known about the proper function of Myt/NZF family proteins during mammalian nervous system development. To assess the possible function of Myt/NZF transcription factors in mammalian neuronal differentiation, we determined the comparative spatial and temporal expression patterns of all three types of Myt/NZF family genes in the embryonic mouse nervous system using quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction and in situ hybridization.

Results: All three Myt/NZF family genes were extensively expressed in developing mouse nervous tissues, and their expression was transient. NZF-1 was expressed later in post-mitotic neurons. NZF-2 was initially expressed in neuronal cells a little earlier than NZF-3. NZF-3 was initially expressed in neuronal cells, just after proliferation was complete.

Conclusion: These expression patterns suggest that the expression of NZF family genes is spatially and temporally regulated, and each Myt/NZF family gene may have a regulatory function in a specific phase during neuronal differentiation.

Keywords: NZF; gene expression; in situ hybridization; neuronal differentiation; qRT-PCR.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Proliferation*
  • Central Nervous System / cytology
  • Central Nervous System / embryology*
  • Embryo, Mammalian / cytology
  • Embryo, Mammalian / embryology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Transcription Factors / biosynthesis*
  • Zinc Fingers*


  • Transcription Factors