Neurogenins in brain development and disease: an overview

Arch Biochem Biophys. 2014 Sep 15:558:10-3. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2014 Jun 17.


The production of neurons, astrocytes and oligodendrocytes is regulated by a group of transcription factors, which determine cell fates and specify subtype identities in the nervous system. Here we focus on profiling the distinct roles of Neurogenin (Ngn or Neurog) family members during the neuronal development. Ngn proteins are tightly regulated to be expressed at defined times and positions of different progenitor cell pools. In addition to their well-elucidated proneural function, Ngn proteins play various critical roles to specify or maintain cell fate and regulate neurite outgrowth and targeting in the central nervous system. Finally, Ngns have been associated with neuronal disorders. Therefore understanding the function and regulation of Ngns will not only improve the understanding of the molecular mechanism underlying the development of nervous system, but may also provide insight into neuronal disease.

Keywords: Anti-glia; Axon guidance; Dendrite morphology; Gliogenesis; Neurogenin; Proneural gene; bHLH protein.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors* / chemistry
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors* / genetics
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors* / metabolism
  • Brain / cytology
  • Brain / growth & development*
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Disease*
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • Neural Stem Cells / cytology
  • Neural Stem Cells / pathology


  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors