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Mol Cell Biol. 2010 Jun;30(11):2737-49. doi: 10.1128/MCB.01566-09. Epub 2010 Apr 5.

Disruption of CK2beta in embryonic neural stem cells compromises proliferation and oligodendrogenesis in the mouse telencephalon.

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  • 1INSERM, U873, CEA, iRTSV/LTS, 17 Av. des Martyrs, F-38054 Grenoble, France.


Genetic programs that govern neural stem/progenitor cell (NSC) proliferation and differentiation are dependent on extracellular cues and a network of transcription factors, which can be regulated posttranslationally by phosphorylation. However, little is known about the kinase-dependent pathways regulating NSC maintenance and oligodendrocyte development. We used a conditional knockout approach to target the murine regulatory subunit (beta) of protein kinase casein kinase 2 (CK2beta) in embryonic neural progenitors. Loss of CK2beta leads to defects in proliferation and differentiation of embryonic NSCs. We establish CK2beta as a key positive regulator for the development of oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs), both in vivo and in vitro. We show that CK2beta directly interacts with the basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factor Olig2, a critical modulator of OPC development, and activates the CK2-dependent phosphorylation of its serine-threonine-rich (STR) domain. Finally, we reveal that the CK2-targeted STR domain is required for the oligodendroglial function of Olig2. These findings suggest that CK2 may control oligodendrogenesis, in part, by regulating the activity of the lineage-specific transcription factor Olig2. Thus, CK2beta appears to play an essential and uncompensated role in central nervous system development.

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