The corepressor CtBP2 is required for proper development of the mouse cerebral cortex

Mol Cell Neurosci. 2020 Apr;104:103481. doi: 10.1016/j.mcn.2020.103481. Epub 2020 Mar 10.


The development of the cerebral cortex depends on numerous parameters, including extracellular cues and microenvironmental factors that also affect gene expression. C-Terminal Binding Proteins (CtBPs) 1 and 2 are transcriptional co-repressors which have been shown to be critically involved in embryonic development. CtBPs are oxygen sensing molecules, and we have previously demonstrated an important role for CtBP1 in integrating oxygen levels and BMP-signaling to influence neural progenitor fate choice. In turn, CtBP2 has been associated with neurodevelopment and neurological disease, and we have shown that CtBP2 acetylation and dimerization, required for proper transcriptional activity, are regulated by microenvironmental oxygen levels. Yet, the putative function of CtBP2 in mammalian cortical development and neurogenesis in vivo is still largely unknown. Here we show that CtBP2 was widely expressed by neural stem and progenitor cells (NSPCs) as well as neurons during cortical development in mice. By using in utero electroporation of siRNA to reduce the levels of CtBP2 mRNA and protein in the developing mouse brain, we found that the NSPC proliferation and migration were largely perturbed, while glial differentiation under these conditions remained unchanged. Our study provides evidence that CtBP2 is required for the maintenance and migration of the NSPCs during mouse cortical development.

Keywords: Cortical development; CtBP; Metabolism; NADH; Neural stem cell; Neurogenesis; Redox.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Oxidoreductases / genetics
  • Alcohol Oxidoreductases / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Cerebral Cortex / embryology
  • Cerebral Cortex / metabolism*
  • Co-Repressor Proteins / genetics
  • Co-Repressor Proteins / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Neural Stem Cells / cytology
  • Neural Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Neurogenesis*
  • Neuroglia / cytology
  • Neuroglia / metabolism


  • Co-Repressor Proteins
  • Alcohol Oxidoreductases
  • Ctbp2 protein, mouse