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Cell. 2001 Feb 9;104(3):365-76.

Neurogenin promotes neurogenesis and inhibits glial differentiation by independent mechanisms.

Author information

  • 1Division of Neuroscience, Children's Hospital and Department of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School, 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Abstract

The mechanisms by which neural stem cells give rise to neurons, astrocytes, or oligodendrocytes are beginning to be elucidated. However, it is not known how the specification of one cell lineage results in the suppression of alternative fates. We find that in addition to inducing neurogenesis, the bHLH transcription factor neurogenin (Ngn1) inhibits the differentiation of neural stem cells into astrocytes. While Ngn1 promotes neurogenesis by functioning as a transcriptional activator, Ngn1 inhibits astrocyte differentiation by sequestering the CBP-Smad1 transcription complex away from astrocyte differentiation genes, and by inhibiting the activation of STAT transcription factors that are necessary for gliogenesis. Thus, two distinct mechanisms are involved in the activation and suppression of gene expression during cell-fate specification by neurogenin.

PMID:
11239394
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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