Developmental and evolutionary dynamics of cis-regulatory elements in mouse cerebellar cells

Science. 2021 Aug 27;373(6558):eabg4696. doi: 10.1126/science.abg4696. Epub 2021 Jul 29.


Organ development is orchestrated by cell- and time-specific gene regulatory networks. In this study, we investigated the regulatory basis of mouse cerebellum development from early neurogenesis to adulthood. By acquiring snATAC-seq (single-nucleus assay for transposase accessible chromatin using sequencing) profiles for ~90,000 cells spanning 11 stages, we mapped cerebellar cell types and identified candidate cis-regulatory elements (CREs). We detected extensive spatiotemporal heterogeneity among progenitor cells and a gradual divergence in the regulatory programs of cerebellar neurons during differentiation. Comparisons to vertebrate genomes and snATAC-seq profiles for ∼20,000 cerebellar cells from the marsupial opossum revealed a shared decrease in CRE conservation during development and differentiation as well as differences in constraint between cell types. Our work delineates the developmental and evolutionary dynamics of gene regulation in cerebellar cells and provides insights into mammalian organ development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Cerebellum / cytology*
  • Cerebellum / embryology
  • Cerebellum / growth & development*
  • Chromatin / genetics
  • Chromatin / metabolism
  • DNA, Intergenic
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Gene Regulatory Networks
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Neural Stem Cells / cytology
  • Neural Stem Cells / physiology
  • Neurogenesis
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Opossums / genetics
  • Regulatory Elements, Transcriptional*


  • Chromatin
  • DNA, Intergenic