HDAC1 and HDAC2 Regulate Intermediate Progenitor Positioning to Safeguard Neocortical Development

Neuron. 2019 Mar 20;101(6):1117-1133.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2019.01.007. Epub 2019 Jan 30.


Neural progenitors with distinct potential to generate progeny are associated with a spatially distinct microenvironment. Neocortical intermediate progenitors (IPs) in the subventricular zone (SVZ) of the developing brain generate neurons for all cortical layers and are essential for cortical expansion. Here, we show that spatial control of IP positioning is essential for neocortical development. We demonstrate that HDAC1 and HDAC2 regulate the spatial positioning of IPs to form the SVZ. Developmental stage-specific depletion of both HDAC1 and HDAC2 in radial glial progenitors results in mispositioning of IPs at the ventricular surface, where they divide and differentiate into neurons, thereby leading to the cortical malformation. We further identified the proneural gene Neurogenin2 as a key target of HDAC1 and HDAC2 for regulating IP positioning. Our results demonstrate the importance of the spatial positioning of neural progenitors in cortical development and reveal a mechanism underlying the establishment of the SVZ microenvironment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Video-Audio Media

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Cell Movement / genetics
  • Ependymoglial Cells / metabolism*
  • Histone Deacetylase 1 / genetics*
  • Histone Deacetylase 1 / metabolism
  • Histone Deacetylase 2 / genetics*
  • Histone Deacetylase 2 / metabolism
  • Lateral Ventricles / embryology*
  • Malformations of Cortical Development / embryology
  • Malformations of Cortical Development / genetics*
  • Mice
  • Neocortex / embryology*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism
  • Neural Stem Cells / metabolism*
  • Neurogenesis


  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Neurog2 protein, mouse
  • Hdac1 protein, mouse
  • Hdac2 protein, mouse
  • Histone Deacetylase 1
  • Histone Deacetylase 2