TBR2 coordinates neurogenesis expansion and precise microcircuit organization via Protocadherin 19 in the mammalian cortex

Nat Commun. 2019 Sep 2;10(1):3946. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-11854-x.


Cerebral cortex expansion is a hallmark of mammalian brain evolution; yet, how increased neurogenesis is coordinated with structural and functional development remains largely unclear. The T-box protein TBR2/EOMES is preferentially enriched in intermediate progenitors and supports cortical neurogenesis expansion. Here we show that TBR2 regulates fine-scale spatial and circuit organization of excitatory neurons in addition to enhancing neurogenesis in the mouse cortex. TBR2 removal leads to a significant reduction in neuronal, but not glial, output of individual radial glial progenitors as revealed by mosaic analysis with double markers. Moreover, in the absence of TBR2, clonally related excitatory neurons become more laterally dispersed and their preferential synapse development is impaired. Interestingly, TBR2 directly regulates the expression of Protocadherin 19 (PCDH19), and simultaneous PCDH19 expression rescues neurogenesis and neuronal organization defects caused by TBR2 removal. Together, these results suggest that TBR2 coordinates neurogenesis expansion and precise microcircuit assembly via PCDH19 in the mammalian cortex.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cadherins / genetics*
  • Cadherins / metabolism
  • Cerebral Cortex / cytology
  • Cerebral Cortex / embryology
  • Cerebral Cortex / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Profiling / methods
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Neurogenesis / genetics*
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Protocadherins
  • RNA Interference
  • Synapses / metabolism
  • T-Box Domain Proteins / genetics*
  • T-Box Domain Proteins / metabolism


  • Cadherins
  • Eomes protein, mouse
  • Pcdh19 protein, mouse
  • Protocadherins
  • T-Box Domain Proteins