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Dev Biol. 2011 Oct 1;358(1):201-12. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2011.07.030. Epub 2011 Jul 29.

The F-box protein Fbw7 is required for cerebellar development.

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Mammalian Genetics Laboratory, Cancer Research UK, London Research Institute, 44, Lincoln's Inn Fields, London, WC2A3LY, UK.


The F-box protein Fbw7 (also known as Fbxw7, hCdc4 and Sel-10) functions as a substrate recognition component of a SCF-type E3 ubiquitin ligase. SCF(Fbw7) facilitates polyubiquitination and subsequent degradation of various proteins such as Notch, cyclin E, c-Myc and c-Jun. Fbw7 is highly expressed in the nervous system and controls neural stem cell differentiation and apoptosis via Notch and c-Jun during embryonic development (Hoeck et al., 2010). Fbw7 deletion in the neural lineage is perinatal lethal and thus prohibits studying the role of Fbw7 in the adult nervous system. fbw7 mRNA is highly expressed in the postnatal brain and to gain insights into the function of Fbw7 in postnatal neurogenesis we analysed Fbw7 function in the cerebellum. We generated conditional Fbw7-knockout mice (fbw7(∆Cb)) by inactivating Fbw7 specifically in the cerebellar anlage. This resulted in decreased cerebellar size, reduced Purkinje cell number and defects in axonal arborisation. Moreover, Fbw7-deficient cerebella showed supranumeral fissures and aberrant progenitor cell migration. Protein levels of the Fbw7 substrates Notch1 and N-terminally phosphorylated c-Jun were upregulated in fbw7(∆Cb) mice. Concomitant deletion of c-Jun, and also the junAA knock-in mutation which specifically abrogates c-Jun N-terminal phosphorylation, rescued Purkinje cell numbers and arborisation in the fbw7(∆Cb) background. Taken together these data demonstrate that Fbw7 is essential during cerebellar development, and identify N-terminally phosphorylated c-Jun as an important substrate of SCF(Fbw7) during neurogenesis.

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