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EMBO J. 2008 Mar 5;27(5):770-81. doi: 10.1038/emboj.2008.14. Epub 2008 Jan 31.

Fanconi DNA repair pathway is required for survival and long-term maintenance of neural progenitors.

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CEA, DSV, iRCM, SCSR, Laboratoire de Radiopathologie, Fontenay-aux-Roses, France.


Although brain development abnormalities and brain cancer predisposition have been reported in some Fanconi patients, the possible role of Fanconi DNA repair pathway during neurogenesis is unclear. We thus addressed the role of fanca and fancg, which are involved in the activation of Fanconi pathway, in neural stem and progenitor cells during brain development and adult neurogenesis. Fanca(-/-) and fancg(-/-) mice presented with microcephalies and a decreased neuronal production in developing cortex and adult brain. Apoptosis of embryonic neural progenitors, but not that of postmitotic neurons, was increased in the neocortex of fanca(-/-) and fancg(-/-) mice and was correlated with chromosomal instability. In adult Fanconi mice, we showed a reduced proliferation of neural progenitor cells related to apoptosis and accentuated neural stem cells exhaustion with ageing. In addition, embryonic and adult Fanconi neural stem cells showed a reduced capacity to self-renew in vitro. Our study demonstrates a critical role for Fanconi pathway in neural stem and progenitor cells during developmental and adult neurogenesis.

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