During cerebral development, many types of neurons are sequentially generated by self-renewing progenitor cells called apical progenitors (APs). Temporal changes in AP identity are thought to be responsible for neuronal diversity; however, the mechanisms underlying such changes remain largely unknown. Here we perform single-cell transcriptome analysis of individual progenitors at different developmental stages, and identify a subset of genes whose expression changes over time but is independent of differentiation status. Surprisingly, the pattern of changes in the expression of such temporal-axis genes in APs is unaffected by cell-cycle arrest. Consistent with this, transient cell-cycle arrest of APs in vivo does not prevent descendant neurons from acquiring their correct laminar fates. Analysis of cultured APs reveals that transitions in AP gene expression are driven by both cell-intrinsic and-extrinsic mechanisms. These results suggest that the timing mechanisms controlling AP temporal identity function independently of cell-cycle progression and Notch activation mode.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)