The spatiotemporal identity of neural progenitors and the regional control of neurogenesis are essential for the development of cerebral cortical architecture. Here we report that mammalian DM domain factors (Dmrt) determine the identity of cerebral cortical progenitors. Among the Dmrt family genes expressed in the developing dorsal telencephalon Dmrt3 and Dmrta2 show a medialhigh/laterallow expression gradient. Their simultaneous loss confers a ventral identity to dorsal progenitors resulting in the ectopic expression of Gsx2 and massive production of GABAergic olfactory bulb interneurons in the dorsal telencephalon. Furthermore double-mutant progenitors in the medial region exhibit upregulated Pax6 andmore lateral characteristics. These ventral and lateral shifts in progenitor identity depend on Dmrt gene dosage. We also found that Dmrt factors bind to Gsx2 and Pax6 enhancers to suppress their expression. Our findings thus reveal that the graded expression of Dmrt factors provide positional information for progenitors by differentially repressing downstream genes in the developing cerebral cortex.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Developmental Biology