Condensin complexes are essential for mitotic chromosome assembly and segregation during cell divisions, however, little is known about their functions in post-mitotic cells. Here we report a role for the condensin I subunit Cap-G in Drosophila neurons. We show that, despite not requiring condensin for mitotic chromosome compaction, post-mitotic neurons express Cap-G. Knockdown of Cap-G specifically in neurons (from their birth onwards) results in developmental arrest, behavioural defects, and dramatic gene expression changes, including reduced expression of a subset of neuronal genes and aberrant expression of genes that are not normally expressed in the developing brain. Knockdown of Cap-G in mature neurons results in similar phenotypes but to a lesser degree. Furthermore, we see dynamic binding of Cap-G at distinct loci in progenitor cells and differentiated neurons. Therefore, Cap-G is essential for proper gene expression in neurons and plays an important role during the early stages of neuronal development.
Keywords: D. melanogaster; DamID; condensin; development; developmental biology; neuron; post-mitotic.
© 2020, Hassan et al.