Insulinoma-Associated 1 Has a Panneurogenic Role and Promotes the Generation and Expansion of Basal Progenitors in the Developing Mouse Neocortex

Lilla M. Farkas, Christiane Haffner, Thomas Giger, Philipp Khaitovich, Katja Nowick, Carmen Birchmeier, Svante Pääbo, Wieland B. Huttner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

133 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Basal (intermediate) progenitors are the major source of neurons in the mammalian neocortex. The molecular machinery governing basal progenitor biogenesis is unknown. Here, we show that the zinc-finger transcription factor Insm1 (insulinoma-associated 1) is expressed specifically in progenitors undergoing neurogenic divisions, has a panneurogenic role throughout the brain, and promotes basal progenitor formation in the neocortex. Mouse embryos lacking Insm1 contained half the number of basal progenitors and showed a marked reduction in cortical plate radial thickness. Forced premature expression of Insm1 in neuroepithelial cells resulted in their mitosis occurring at the basal (rather than apical) side of the ventricular zone and induced expression of the basal progenitor marker Tbr2. Remarkably, these cells remained negative for Tis21, a marker of neurogenic progenitors, and did not generate neurons but underwent self-amplification. Our data imply that Insm1 is involved in the generation and expansion of basal progenitors, a hallmark of neocortex evolution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-55
Number of pages16
JournalNeuron
Volume60
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 Oct 2008
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • DEVBIO
  • MOLNEURO
  • SIGNALING

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