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Neuron. 2010 Jul 15;67(1):33-48. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2010.06.002.

Dixdc1 is a critical regulator of DISC1 and embryonic cortical development.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.


The psychiatric illness risk gene Disrupted in Schizophrenia-1 (DISC1) plays an important role in brain development; however, it is unclear how DISC1 is regulated during cortical development. Here, we report that DISC1 is regulated during embryonic neural progenitor proliferation and neuronal migration through an interaction with DIX domain containing-1 (Dixdc1), the third mammalian gene discovered to contain a Disheveled-Axin (DIX) domain. We determined that Dixdc1 functionally interacts with DISC1 to regulate neural progenitor proliferation by co-modulating Wnt-GSK3beta/beta-catenin signaling. However, DISC1 and Dixdc1 do not regulate migration via this pathway. During neuronal migration, we discovered that phosphorylation of Dixdc1 by cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) facilitates its interaction with the DISC1-binding partner Ndel1. Furthermore, Dixdc1 phosphorylation and its interaction with DISC1/Ndel1 in vivo is required for neuronal migration. Together, these data reveal that Dixdc1 integrates DISC1 into Wnt-GSK3beta/beta-catenin-dependent and -independent signaling pathways during cortical development and further delineate how DISC1 contributes to neuropsychiatric disorders.

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