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Mech Dev. 2000 Jan;90(1):17-28.

PC3 overexpression affects the pattern of cell division of rat cortical precursors.

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  • 1Dipartimento di Fisiologia e Biochimica, Sezione di Biologia Cellulare e dello Sviluppo, UniversitĂ  di Pisa, via Carducci 13, 56010 Ghezzano , Pisa, Italy.


The PC3 gene is transiently expressed during neurogenesis in precursor cells of the telencephalic ventricular/subventricular zone, and is rapidly downregulated before cell migration and differentiation. It is thought to have a role in controlling cell proliferation, but its precise function is not known. Here we present evidence that PC3, when overexpressed in vitro by retroviral-mediated gene transfer, acts by interfering with the normal pattern of cell division. Firstly, we report evidence that PC3 overexpression reduces the rate of cell proliferation in both NIH 3T3 cells and embryonic precursor cells from the rat cerebral cortex. Secondly, when studying the pattern of BrdU dilution in clones of cortical precursors, we observe that clones transduced with PC3 show an asymmetric pattern of BrdU dilution more frequently than clones transduced with a control vector. We discuss the hypothesis that the higher number of PC3 transduced clones showing an asymmetric pattern of BrdU dilution may be due to an increase in asymmetric cell divisions.

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