Eya1 interacts with Six2 and Myc to regulate expansion of the nephron progenitor pool during nephrogenesis

Dev Cell. 2014 Nov 24;31(4):434-47. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2014.10.015. Epub 2014 Nov 24.


Self-renewal and proliferation of nephron progenitor cells and the decision to initiate nephrogenesis are crucial events directing kidney development. Despite recent advancements in defining lineage and regulators for the progenitors, fundamental questions about mechanisms driving expansion of the progenitors remain unanswered. Here we show that Eya1 interacts with Six2 and Myc to control self-renewing cell activity. Cell fate tracing reveals a developmental restriction of the Eya1(+) population within the intermediate mesoderm to nephron-forming cell fates and a common origin shared between caudal mesonephric and metanephric nephrons. Conditional inactivation of Eya1 leads to loss of Six2 expression and premature epithelialization of the progenitors. Six2 mediates translocation of Eya1 to the nucleus, where Eya1 uses its threonine phosphatase activity to control Myc phosphorylation/dephosphorylation and function in the progenitor cells. Our results reveal a functional link between Eya1, Six2, and Myc in driving the expansion and maintenance of the multipotent progenitors during nephrogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Homeodomain Proteins / metabolism*
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / metabolism*
  • Mesoderm / metabolism
  • Mice, 129 Strain
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Nephrons / cytology*
  • Nephrons / metabolism*
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism*
  • Organogenesis / physiology*
  • Protein Tyrosine Phosphatases / metabolism*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc / metabolism*
  • Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*


  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Myc protein, mouse
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc
  • Six2 protein, mouse
  • Transcription Factors
  • Eya1 protein, mouse
  • Protein Tyrosine Phosphatases