Tcf/lef repressors differentially regulate shh-gli target gene activation thresholds to generate progenitor patterning in the developing CNS

Hui Wang, Qiubo Lei, Tony Oosterveen, Johan Ericson, Michael P. Matise

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

During neural tube development, Shh signaling through Gli transcription factors is necessary to establish five distinct ventral progenitor domains that give rise to unique classes of neurons and glia that arise in specific positions along the dorsoventral axis. These cells are generated from progenitors that display distinct transcription factor gene expression profiles in specific domains in the ventricular zone. However, the molecular genetic mechanisms that control the differential spatiotemporal transcriptional responses of progenitor target genes to graded Shh-Gli signaling remain unclear. The current study demonstrates a role for Tcf/Lef repressor activity in this process. We show that Tcf3 and Tcf7L2 (Tcf4) are required for proper ventral patterning and function by independently regulating two Shh-Gli target genes, Nkx2.2 and Olig2, which are initially induced in a common pool of progenitors that ultimately segregate into unique territories giving rise to distinct progeny. Genetic and functional studies in vivo show that Tcf transcriptional repressors selectively elevate the strength and duration of Gli activity necessary to induce Nkx2.2, but have no effect on Olig2, and thereby contribute to the establishment of their distinct expression domains in cooperation with graded Shh signaling. Together, our data reveal a Shh-Gli-independent transcriptional input that is required to shape the precise spatial and temporal response to extracellular morphogen signaling information during lineage segregation in the CNS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3711-3721
Number of pages11
JournalDevelopment
Volume138
Issue number17
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology

Keywords

  • Chick
  • Gene expression
  • Gli proteins
  • Morphogen signaling
  • Mouse
  • Patterning
  • Spinal cord
  • Tcf proteins

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