Adult upper cortical layer specific transcription factor cux2 is expressed in transient subplate and marginal zone neurons of the developing human brain

Terezija Miškić, Ivica Kostović, Mladen Roko Rašin, Željka Krsnik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Cut-Like Homeobox 2 (Cux2) is a transcription factor involved in dendrite and spine development, and synapse formation of projection neurons placed in mouse upper neocortical layers. Therefore, Cux2 is often used as an upper layer marker in the mouse brain. However, expression of its orthologue CUX2 remains unexplored in the human fetal neocortex. Here, we show that CUX2 protein is expressed in transient compartments of developing neocortical anlage during the main fetal phases of neocortical laminar development in human brain. During the early fetal phase when neurons of the upper cortical layers are still radially migrating to reach their final place in the cortical anlage, CUX2 was expressed in the marginal zone (MZ), deep cortical plate, and pre-subplate. During midgestation, CUX2 was still expressed in the migrating upper cortical neurons as well as in the subplate (SP) and MZ neurons. At the term age, CUX2 was expressed in the gyral white matter along with its expected expression in the upper layer neurons. In sum, CUX2 was expressed in migratory neurons of prospective superficial layers and in the diverse subpopulation of transient postmigratory SP and MZ neurons. Therefore, our findings indicate that CUX2 is a novel marker of distinct transient, but critical histogenetic events during corticogenesis. Given the Cux2 functions reported in animal models, our data further suggest that the expression of CUX2 in postmigratory SP and MZ neurons is associated with their unique dendritic and synaptogenesis characteristics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number415
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalCells
Volume10
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)

Keywords

  • Human cortical development
  • Marginal zone
  • Prefrontal cortex
  • Projection neurons
  • Subplate
  • Synaptogenesis
  • Upper cortical layers

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