Brn-3.2: a Brn-3-related transcription factor with distinctive central nervous system expression and regulation by retinoic acid

Neuron. 1994 Jan;12(1):205-18. doi: 10.1016/0896-6273(94)90164-3.


The identification and molecular characterization of Brn-3.2 has revealed a family of Brn-3-related mammalian POU proteins that share homology with the C. elegans developmental regulator Unc-86 and extended similarity with the Drosophila neurodevelopmental gene I-POU, which defines a novel POU-IV box. Brn-3.2 exhibits DNA binding properties similar to those of Brn-3.0, but its expression is uniquely regulated by retinoic acid in teratocarcinoma and neuroblastoma cells. In the developing PNS and retina, the expression pattern of Brn-3.2 is similar to that of Brn-3.0. In the caudal CNS (spinal cord, hindbrain, and midbrain) Brn-3.2 and Brn-3.0 are initially coexpressed, but diverge later in development. Rostral to the midbrain, Brn-3.2 and Brn-3.0 exhibit nonoverlapping patterns of expression, suggesting divergence of gene function in more recently evolved structures. Our analysis suggests that in the CNS Brn-3.2 is selectively expressed in postmitotic neurons, implying a role in specifying terminally differentiated neuronal phenotypes.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Line
  • DNA, Complementary / metabolism
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Drosophila / physiology
  • Embryo, Mammalian
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian
  • Gene Expression / drug effects
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology*
  • Gene Library
  • Genes, Homeobox
  • Homeodomain Proteins*
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Mesencephalon / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mitosis
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Neuroblastoma
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / drug effects
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Organ Specificity
  • Rhombencephalon / metabolism
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Spinal Cord / metabolism*
  • Teratoma
  • Transcription Factor Brn-3
  • Transcription Factor Brn-3A
  • Transcription Factor Brn-3B
  • Transcription Factors / biosynthesis*
  • Transfection
  • Tretinoin / pharmacology*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • DNA, Complementary
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Pou4f1 protein, mouse
  • Pou4f2 protein, mouse
  • Transcription Factor Brn-3
  • Transcription Factor Brn-3A
  • Transcription Factor Brn-3B
  • Transcription Factors
  • Tretinoin