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See detailElongator orchestrates cerebral cortical neurogenesis
creppe, catherine; malinouskaya, lina; Volvert, Marie-Laure ULg et al

in Medecine Sciences : M/S (2010)

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See detailElongator - an emerging role in neurological disorders
Nguyen, Laurent ULg; Humbert, Sandrine; Saudou, Frédéric et al

in Trends in Molecular Medicine (2010), 16

We are currently facing important challenges to prevent and cure neurological disorders that are becoming a major public health issue in our aging society. Because of the lack of mechanism-based ... [more ▼]

We are currently facing important challenges to prevent and cure neurological disorders that are becoming a major public health issue in our aging society. Because of the lack of mechanism-based treatments to correct brain malformations or to prevent the progression of cell death in neurodegenerative disorders, most of these pathologies follow a fatal course. Thus, one major objective is to understand the molecular events that underlie these diseases in order to prevent their onset and/or halt their progression. Converging experimental and clinical evidences obtained by our lab and others prompt us to speculate that Elongator may be commonly targeted in different neurological disorders and as such, should represent a strong candidate for research and development efforts to design drug-based therapies. [less ▲]

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See detailMolecular layers underlying cytoskeletal remodelling during cortcial development
Heng, Julian; Chariot, Alain ULg; Nguyen, Laurent ULg

in Trends in Neurosciences (2010)

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See detailOtotoxic drugs: difference in sensitivity between mice and guinea pigs.
Poirrier, Anne-Lise ULg; Van den Ackerveken, P.; Kim, T. S. et al

in Toxicology Letters (2010), 193(1), 41-9

The development of experimental animal models has played an invaluable role in understanding the mechanisms of neurosensory deafness and in devising effective treatments. The purpose of this study was to ... [more ▼]

The development of experimental animal models has played an invaluable role in understanding the mechanisms of neurosensory deafness and in devising effective treatments. The purpose of this study was to develop an adult mouse model of ototoxic drug-induced hearing loss and to compare the ototoxicity in the adult mouse to that in the well-described guinea pig model. Mice are a powerful model organism, especially due to the large availability of antibodies, probes and genetic mutants. In this study, mice (n=114) and guinea pigs (n=35) underwent systemic treatment with either kanamycin or cisplatin. Auditory brainstem responses showed a significant threshold shift in guinea pigs 2 weeks after the beginning of the ototoxic treatment, while there was no significant hearing impairment recorded in mice. Hair cells and neuronal loss were correlated with hearing function in both guinea pigs and mice. These results indicate that the mouse is not a good model for ototoxicity, which should be taken into consideration in all further investigations concerning ototoxicity-induced hearing loss. [less ▲]

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See detailGlial but not neuronal development in the cochleo-vestibular ganglion requires Sox10.
Breuskin, Ingrid ULg; Bodson, Morgan ULg; Thelen, Nicolas ULg et al

in Journal of Neurochemistry (2010), 114(6), 1827-39

The cochleo-vestibular ganglion contains neural crest-derived glial cells and sensory neurons that are derived from the neurogenic otic placode. Little is known about the molecular mechanisms that ... [more ▼]

The cochleo-vestibular ganglion contains neural crest-derived glial cells and sensory neurons that are derived from the neurogenic otic placode. Little is known about the molecular mechanisms that regulate the tightly orchestrated development of this structure. Here, we report that Sox10, a high-mobility group DNA-binding domain transcription factor that is required for the proper development of neural crest cell derivatives, is specifically expressed in post-migratory neural crest cells in the cochleo-vestibular ganglion. Using Sox10-deficient mice, we demonstrate that this transcription factor is essential for the survival, but not the generation, of the post-migratory neural crest cells within the inner ear. In the absence of these neural crest-derived cells, we have investigated the survival of the otocyst-derived auditory neurons. Surprisingly, auditory neuron differentiation, sensory target innervation and survival are conserved despite the absence of glial cells. Moreover, brain-derived neurotrophic factor expression is increased in the hair cells of Sox10-deficient mice, a compensatory mechanism that may prevent spiral ganglion neuronal cell death. Taken together, these data suggest that in the absence of neural crest-derived glial cells, an increase trophic support from hair cells promotes the survival of spiral ganglion neurons in Sox10 mutant mice. [less ▲]

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See detailExpression patterns of miR-96, miR-182 and miR-183 in the development inner ear
Sacheli, Rosalie ULg; Nguyen, Laurent ULg; Borgs, Laurence ULg et al

in Gene Expression Patterns (2009)

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) constitute a class of small non-coding endogenous RNAs that downregulate gene expression by binding to 3' untranslated region (UTR) of target messenger RNAs. Although they have been ... [more ▼]

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) constitute a class of small non-coding endogenous RNAs that downregulate gene expression by binding to 3' untranslated region (UTR) of target messenger RNAs. Although they have been found to regulate developmental and physiological processes in several organs and tissues, their role in the regulation of the inner ear transcriptome remains unknown. In this report, we have performed systematic in situ hybridization to analyze the temporal and spatial distribution of three miRNAs (miR-96, mR-182, and mR-183) that are likely to arise from a single precursor RNA during the development and the maturation of the cochlea. Strikingly we found that the expression of mR-96, mR-182 and mR-183 was highly dynamic during the development of the cochlea, from the patterning to the differentiation of the main cochlear structures. [less ▲]

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See detailElongator controls the migration and differentiation of cortical neurons through acetylation of a tubulin
Creppe, Catherine ULg; Malinouskaya, Lina ULg; Volvert, Marie-Laure ULg et al

in Cell (2009), 136

The generation of cortical projection neurons relies on the coordination of radial migration with branching. Here we report that the multi-subunit histone acetyltransferase Elongator complex, which ... [more ▼]

The generation of cortical projection neurons relies on the coordination of radial migration with branching. Here we report that the multi-subunit histone acetyltransferase Elongator complex, which contributes to transcript elongation, also regulates the maturation of projection neurons. Indeed, silencing of its scaffold (Elp1) or catalytic subunit (Elp3) cell-autonomously delays the migration and impairs the branching of projection neurons. Strikingly, neurons defective in Elongator show reduced levels of acetylated alpha tubulin. A direct reduction of alpha tubulin acetylation leads to comparable defects in cortical neurons and suggests that alpha tubulin is a target of Elp3. This is further supported by the demonstration that Elp3 promotes acetylation and counteracts HDAC6-mediated deacetylation of this substrate in vitro. Our results uncover alpha tubulin as a target of the Elongator complex and suggest that a tight regulation of its acetylation underlies the maturation of cortical projection neurons. [less ▲]

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See detailAdult neurogenesis and the diseased brain.
Vandenbosch, Renaud ULg; Borgs, Laurence ULg; Beukelaers, Pierre ULg et al

in Current Medicinal Chemistry (2009), 16(6), 652-66

For a long time it was believed that the adult mammalian brain was completely unable to regenerate after insults. However, recent advances in the field of stem cell biology, including the identification ... [more ▼]

For a long time it was believed that the adult mammalian brain was completely unable to regenerate after insults. However, recent advances in the field of stem cell biology, including the identification of adult neural stem cells (NSCs) and evidence regarding a continuous production of neurons throughout life in the dentate gyrus (DG) and the subventricular zone of the lateral ventricles (SVZ), have provided new hopes for the development of novel therapeutic strategies to induce regeneration in the damaged brain. Moreover, proofs have accumulated this last decade that endogenous stem/progenitor cells of the adult brain have an intrinsic capacity to respond to brain disorders. Here, we first briefly summarize our current knowledge related to adult neurogenesis before focusing on the behaviour of adult neural stem/progenitors cells following stroke and seizure, and describe some of the molecular cues involved in the response of these cells to injury. In the second part, we outline the consequences of three main neurodegenerative disorders on adult neurogenesis and we discuss the potential therapeutic implication of adult neural stem/progenitors cells during the course of these diseases. [less ▲]

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See detailCell "circadian" cycle: new role for mammalian core clock genes.
Borgs, Laurence ULg; Beukelaers, Pierre ULg; Vandenbosch, Renaud ULg et al

in Cell Cycle (Georgetown, Tex.) (2009), 8(6), 832-7

In mammals, 24 hours rhythms are organized as a biochemical network of molecular clocks that are operative in all tissues, with the master clock residing in the hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN ... [more ▼]

In mammals, 24 hours rhythms are organized as a biochemical network of molecular clocks that are operative in all tissues, with the master clock residing in the hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). The core pacemakers of these clocks consist of auto-regulatory transcriptional/post-transcriptional feedback loops. Several lines of evidence suggest the existence of a crosstalk between molecules that are responsible for the generation of circadian rhythms and molecules that control the cell cycle progression. In addition, highly specialized cell cycle checkpoints involved in DNA repair after damage seem also, at least in part, mediated by clock proteins. Recent studies have also highlighted a putative connection between clock protein dysfunction and cancer progression. This review discusses the intimate relation that exists between cell cycle progression and components of the circadian machinery. [less ▲]

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See detailPeriod 2 regulates neural stem/progenitor cell proliferation in the adult hippocampus.
Borgs, Laurence ULg; Beukelaers, Pierre ULg; Vandenbosch, Renaud ULg et al

in BMC Neuroscience (2009), 10

BACKGROUND: Newborn granule neurons are generated from proliferating neural stem/progenitor cells and integrated into mature synaptic networks in the adult dentate gyrus of the hippocampus. Since light ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Newborn granule neurons are generated from proliferating neural stem/progenitor cells and integrated into mature synaptic networks in the adult dentate gyrus of the hippocampus. Since light/dark variations of the mitotic index and DNA synthesis occur in many tissues, we wanted to unravel the role of the clock-controlled Period2 gene (mPer2) in timing cell cycle kinetics and neurogenesis in the adult DG. RESULTS: In contrast to the suprachiasmatic nucleus, we observed a non-rhythmic constitutive expression of mPER2 in the dentate gyrus. We provide evidence that mPER2 is expressed in proliferating neural stem/progenitor cells (NPCs) and persists in early post-mitotic and mature newborn neurons from the adult DG. In vitro and in vivo analysis of a mouse line mutant in the mPer2 gene (Per2Brdm1), revealed a higher density of dividing NPCs together with an increased number of immature newborn neurons populating the DG. However, we showed that the lack of mPer2 does not change the total amount of mature adult-generated hippocampal neurons, because of a compensatory increase in neuronal cell death. CONCLUSION: Taken together, these data demonstrated a functional link between the constitutive expression of mPER2 and the intrinsic control of neural stem/progenitor cells proliferation, cell death and neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus of adult mice. [less ▲]

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See detailSox10 promotes the survival of cochlear progenitors during the establishment of the organ of Corti
Breuskin, Ingrid ULg; Bodson, Morgan ULg; Thelen, Nicolas ULg et al

in Developmental Biology (2009), 15(335), 327-339

Transcription factors of the SoxE family are critical players that underlie various embryological processes. However, little is known about their function during inner ear development. Here, we show that ... [more ▼]

Transcription factors of the SoxE family are critical players that underlie various embryological processes. However, little is known about their function during inner ear development. Here, we show that Sox10 is initially expressed throughout the otic vesicle epithelium and becomes later restricted to supporting cells as cell differentiation proceeds in the organ of Corti. Morphological analyses of Sox10 mutant mice reveal a significant shortening of the cochlear duct likely resulting from the progressive depletion of cochlear progenitors. While Sox10 appears dispensable for the differentiation and patterning of the inner ear prosensory progenitors, our data support a critical role for this transcription factor in the promotion of their survival. We provide genetic evidences that Sox10, in a concentration-dependant manner, could play a role in the regulation of Jagged1, a gene known to be important for inner ear prosensory development. Together, our results demonstrate that Sox10 regulates the biology of early cochlear progenitors during inner ear development, but, in contrast to neural crest-derived cells, this transcription factor is dispensable for their differentiation. Evidence also suggests that this effect occurs via the activation of the Jagged1 gene. [less ▲]

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See detailEFHC1 interacts with microtubules to regulate cell division and cortical development
de Nijs, Laurence ULg; Leon, Christine ULg; Nguyen, Laurent ULg et al

in Nature Neuroscience (2009), 12(10), 1266-74

Mutations in the EFHC1 gene are linked to juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME), one of the most frequent forms of idiopathic generalized epilepsies. JME is associated with subtle alterations of cortical and ... [more ▼]

Mutations in the EFHC1 gene are linked to juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME), one of the most frequent forms of idiopathic generalized epilepsies. JME is associated with subtle alterations of cortical and subcortical architecture, but the underlying pathological mechanism remains unknown. We found that EFHC1 is a microtubule-associated protein involved in the regulation of cell division. In vitro, EFHC1 loss of function disrupted mitotic spindle organization, impaired M phase progression, induced microtubule bundling and increased apoptosis. EFHC1 impairment in the rat developing neocortex by ex vivo and in utero electroporation caused a marked disruption of radial migration. We found that this effect was a result of cortical progenitors failing to exit the cell cycle and defects in the radial glia scaffold organization and in the locomotion of postmitotic neurons. Therefore, we propose that EFHC1 is a regulator of cell division and neuronal migration during cortical development and that disruption of its functions leads to JME [less ▲]

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See detailStrategies to Regenerate Hair Cells: Identification of Progenitors and Critical Genes
Breuskin, Ingrid ULg; Bodson, Morgan ULg; Thelen, Nicolas ULg et al

in Hearing Research (2008), 236(1-2), 1-10

Deafness commonly results from a lesion of the sensory cells and/or of the neurons of the auditory part of the inner ear. There are currently no treatments designed to halt or reverse the progression of ... [more ▼]

Deafness commonly results from a lesion of the sensory cells and/or of the neurons of the auditory part of the inner ear. There are currently no treatments designed to halt or reverse the progression of hearing loss. A key goal in developing therapy for sensorineural deafness is the identification of strategies to replace lost hair cells. In amphibians and birds, a spontaneous post-injury regeneration of all inner ear sensory hair cells occurs. In contrast, in the mammalian cochlea, hair cells are only produced during embryogenesis. Many studies have been carried out in order to demonstrate the persistence of endogenous progenitors. The present review is first focused on the occurrence of spontaneous supernumerary hair cells and on nestin positive precursors found in the organ of Corti. A second approach to regenerating hair cells would be to find genes essential for their differentiation. This review will also focus on critical genes for embryonic hair cell formation such as the cell cycle related proteins, the Atoh1 gene and the Notch signaling pathway. Understanding mechanisms that underlie hair cell production is an essential prerequisite to defining therapeutic strategies to regenerate hair cells in the mature inner ear. [less ▲]

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See detailCharacterization of the proneural gene regulatory network during mouse telencephalon development.
Gohlke, Julia M; Armant, Olivier; Parham, Frederick M et al

in BMC Biology (2008), 6

BACKGROUND: The proneural proteins Mash1 and Ngn2 are key cell autonomous regulators of neurogenesis in the mammalian central nervous system, yet little is known about the molecular pathways regulated by ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: The proneural proteins Mash1 and Ngn2 are key cell autonomous regulators of neurogenesis in the mammalian central nervous system, yet little is known about the molecular pathways regulated by these transcription factors. RESULTS: Here we identify the downstream effectors of proneural genes in the telencephalon using a genomic approach to analyze the transcriptome of mice that are either lacking or overexpressing proneural genes. Novel targets of Ngn2 and/or Mash1 were identified, such as members of the Notch and Wnt pathways, and proteins involved in adhesion and signal transduction. Next, we searched the non-coding sequence surrounding the predicted proneural downstream effector genes for evolutionarily conserved transcription factor binding sites associated with newly defined consensus binding sites for Ngn2 and Mash1. This allowed us to identify potential novel co-factors and co-regulators for proneural proteins, including Creb, Tcf/Lef, Pou-domain containing transcription factors, Sox9, and Mef2a. Finally, a gene regulatory network was delineated using a novel Bayesian-based algorithm that can incorporate information from diverse datasets. CONCLUSION: Together, these data shed light on the molecular pathways regulated by proneural genes and demonstrate that the integration of experimentation with bioinformatics can guide both hypothesis testing and hypothesis generation. [less ▲]

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See detailEndocannabinoid signaling controls pyramidal cell specification and long-range axon patterning.
Mulder, Jan; Aguado, Tania; Keimpema, Erik et al

in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (2008), 105(25), 8760-5

Endocannabinoids (eCBs) have recently been identified as axon guidance cues shaping the connectivity of local GABAergic interneurons in the developing cerebrum. However, eCB functions during pyramidal ... [more ▼]

Endocannabinoids (eCBs) have recently been identified as axon guidance cues shaping the connectivity of local GABAergic interneurons in the developing cerebrum. However, eCB functions during pyramidal cell specification and establishment of long-range axonal connections are unknown. Here, we show that eCB signaling is operational in subcortical proliferative zones from embryonic day 12 in the mouse telencephalon and controls the proliferation of pyramidal cell progenitors and radial migration of immature pyramidal cells. When layer patterning is accomplished, developing pyramidal cells rely on eCB signaling to initiate the elongation and fasciculation of their long-range axons. Accordingly, CB(1) cannabinoid receptor (CB(1)R) null and pyramidal cell-specific conditional mutant (CB(1)R(f/f,NEX-Cre)) mice develop deficits in neuronal progenitor proliferation and axon fasciculation. Likewise, axonal pathfinding becomes impaired after in utero pharmacological blockade of CB(1)Rs. Overall, eCBs are fundamental developmental cues controlling pyramidal cell development during corticogenesis. [less ▲]

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See detailNeurogenin 2 controls cortical neuron migration through regulation of Rnd2.
Heng, Julian Ik-Tsen; Nguyen, Laurent ULg; Castro, Diogo S et al

in Nature (2008), 455(7209), 114-8

Motility is a universal property of newly generated neurons. How cell migration is coordinately regulated with other aspects of neuron production is not well understood. Here we show that the proneural ... [more ▼]

Motility is a universal property of newly generated neurons. How cell migration is coordinately regulated with other aspects of neuron production is not well understood. Here we show that the proneural protein neurogenin 2 (Neurog2), which controls neurogenesis in the embryonic cerebral cortex, directly induces the expression of the small GTP-binding protein Rnd2 (ref. 3) in newly generated mouse cortical neurons before they initiate migration. Rnd2 silencing leads to a defect in radial migration of cortical neurons similar to that observed when the Neurog2 gene is deleted. Remarkably, restoring Rnd2 expression in Neurog2-mutant neurons is sufficient to rescue their ability to migrate. Our results identify Rnd2 as a novel essential regulator of neuronal migration in the cerebral cortex and demonstrate that Rnd2 is a major effector of Neurog2 function in the promotion of migration. Thus, a proneural protein controls the complex cellular behaviour of cell migration through a remarkably direct pathway involving the transcriptional activation of a small GTP-binding protein. [less ▲]

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See detailCdk2 Is Dispensable for Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis
Vandenbosch, Renaud ULg; Borgs, Laurence ULg; Beukelaers, Pierre ULg et al

in Cell Cycle (Georgetown, Tex.) (2007), 6(24), 3065-9

Granule neurons of the dentate gyrus (DG) of the hippocampus undergo continuous renewal throughout life. Among cell cycle regulators, cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (Cdk2) is considered as a major regulator of ... [more ▼]

Granule neurons of the dentate gyrus (DG) of the hippocampus undergo continuous renewal throughout life. Among cell cycle regulators, cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (Cdk2) is considered as a major regulator of S-phase entry. We used Cdk2-deficient mice to decipher the requirement of Cdk2 for the generation of new neurons in the adult hippocampus. The quantification of cell cycle markers first revealed that the lack of Cdk2 activity does not influence spontaneous or seizure-induced proliferation of neural progenitor cells (NPC) in the adult DG. Using bromodeoxyuridine incorporation assays, we showed that the number of mature newborn granule neurons generated de novo was similar in both wild-type (WT) and Cdk2-deficient adult mice. Moreover, the apparent lack of cell output reduction in Cdk2(-/-) mice DG did not result from a reduction in apoptosis of newborn granule cells as analyzed by TUNEL assays. Our results therefore suggest that Cdk2 is dispensable for NPC proliferation, differentiation and survival of adult-born DG granule neurons in vivo. These data emphasize that functional redundancies between Cdks also occur in the adult brain at the level of neural progenitor cell cycle regulation during hippocampal neurogenesis. [less ▲]

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See detailNeurotransmitters regulate cell migration in the telencephalon
Heng, J. I. T.; Moonen, Gustave ULg; Nguyen, Laurent ULg

in European Journal of Neuroscience (2007), 26(3), 537-546

The complex cytoarchitectonic organization of the adult mammalian telencephalon reflects the elaborate patterns of cell migration that contribute to its generation. The migration by neurons in the CNS can ... [more ▼]

The complex cytoarchitectonic organization of the adult mammalian telencephalon reflects the elaborate patterns of cell migration that contribute to its generation. The migration by neurons in the CNS can broadly be divided into two categories: radial and tangential. Experimental observations in the telencephalon have shown that glutamatergic projection neurons are born in the progenitor compartment of the dorsal telencephalon and migrate radially to integrate the cortical plate, whereas most gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic interneurons are generated in the ganglionic eminences and navigate through multiple tangential paths to settle into distinct telencephalic structures. Despite progress towards the understanding of the genetic determinants that specify the fate of neuronal progenitors, much remains unknown about the mechanisms that direct their migration into specific regions of the telencephalon. Interestingly, besides their function in synaptic transmission, neurotransmitters have been shown to promote several developmental processes that contribute to the establishment and maintenance of the CNS. In this respect, recent studies have highlighted a role for neurotransmitters through activation of their receptors in regulating cell migration in the telencephalon. This review summarizes and discusses the growing body of literature implicating neurotransmitters and their cognate receptors as part of a complex molecular machinery that regulate the migration of immature neurons in the telencephalon during development and in adulthood. [less ▲]

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See detailp27Kip1 independently promotes neuronal differentiation and migration in the cerebral cortex.
Nguyen, Laurent ULg; Besson, A.; Heng, J Ik-Tsen et al

in Bulletin et Mémoires de l'Académie Royale de Médecine de Belgique (2007), 162(5-6), 310-4

The generation of glutamatergic neurons by stem and progenitor cells is a complex process involving the tight coordination of multiple cellular activities, including cell cycle exit, initiation of ... [more ▼]

The generation of glutamatergic neurons by stem and progenitor cells is a complex process involving the tight coordination of multiple cellular activities, including cell cycle exit, initiation of neuronal differentiation and cell migration. The mechanisms that integrate these different events into a coherent program are not well understood. Here we show that the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27Kip1 plays an important role in neurogenesis in the mouse cerebral cortex, by promoting the differentiation and radial migration of cortical projection neurons. Importantly, p27Kip1 promotes neuronal differentiation and neuronal migration via two distinct mechanisms, which are themselves independent of the cell cycle regulatory function of p27Kip1. p27Kip1 inactivation by gene targeting or RNA interference results in neuronal differentiation and radial migration defects, demonstrating that p27Kip1 regulates cell migration in vivo. The differentiation defect, but not the migration defect, is rescued by overexpression of the proneural gene Neurogenin 2. p27Kip1 acts by stabilizing Neurogenin 2 protein, an activity carried by the N-terminal half of the protein. The migration defect resulting from p27Kp1 inactivation is rescued by blocking RhoA signalling, an activity that resides in the c-terminal half of p27Kip1. Thus, p27Kip1 plays a key role in cortical development, acting as a modular protein that independently regulates and couples multiple cellular pathways contributing to neurogenesis. [less ▲]

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