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J Cell Biol. 2010 Apr 5;189(1):159-70. doi: 10.1083/jcb.200908048. Epub 2010 Mar 29.

BMP-induced REST regulates the establishment and maintenance of astrocytic identity.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Molecular Neuroscience, Graduate School of Biological Sciences, Nara Institute of Science and Technology, Nara 630-0101, Japan.

Abstract

Once they have differentiated, cells retain their individual character and repress genes that are specifically expressed in other cell lineages, but how alternative fate choice is restricted during and/or after differentiation remains unclear. In the mammalian central nervous system, neurons, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes are generated throughout life from common tripotent neural progenitor cells (NPCs). Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) are well-known astrocyte-inducing cytokines. We show here that the expression of a transcriptional repressor, RE1 silencer of transcription (REST)/neuron-restrictive silencer factor (NRSF), is up-regulated and sustained by BMP signal activation in the course of astrocytic differentiation of NPCs, and restricts neuronal differentiation. We further show that, in differentiated astrocytes, endogenous REST/NRSF associates with various neuronal genes and that disruption of its function resulted in their derepression, thereby explaining how ectopic neuronal gene expression is prevented in cells with astrocytic traits. Collectively, our results suggest that REST/NRSF functions as a molecular regulator of the nonneuronal phenotype in astrocytes.

PMID:
20351065
PMCID:
PMC2854381
DOI:
10.1083/jcb.200908048
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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