Sip1 is an important transcription factor that regulates several aspects of CNS development. Mutations in the human SIP1 gene have been implicated in Mowat-Wilson syndrome (MWS), characterized by severe mental retardation and agenesis of the corpus callosum. In this study we have shown that Sip1 is essential for the formation of intracortical, intercortical, and cortico-subcortical connections in the murine forebrain. Sip1 deletion from all postmitotic neurons in the neocortex results in lack of corpus callosum, anterior commissure, and corticospinal tract formation. Mosaic deletion of Sip1 in the neocortex reveals defects in axonal growth and in ipsilateral intracortical-collateral formation. Sip1 mediates these effects through its direct downstream effector ninein, a microtubule binding protein. Ninein in turn influences the rate of axonal growth and branching by affecting microtubule stability and dynamics.
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