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Cell Rep. 2012 Nov 29;2(5):1351-62. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2012.10.003. Epub 2012 Nov 8.

Maturation-promoting activity of SATB1 in MGE-derived cortical interneurons.

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  • 1Division of Molecular Neurobiology, MRC National Institute for Medical Research, The Ridgeway, Mill Hill, NW7 1AA London, United Kingdom.


The generation of cortical interneuron subtypes is controlled by genetic programs that are activated in the ventral forebrain and unfold during the prolonged period of inhibitory neuron development. The LIM-homeodomain protein LHX6 is critical for the development of all cortical interneurons originating in the medial ganglionic eminence, but the molecular mechanisms that operate downstream of LHX6 to control the terminal differentiation of somatostatin- and parvalbumin-expressing interneurons within the cortex remain unknown. Here, we provide evidence that the nuclear matrix and genome organizer protein SATB1 is induced by neuronal activity and functions downstream of Lhx6 to control the transition of tangentially migrating immature interneurons into the terminally differentiated Somatostatin (SST)-expressing subtype. Our experiments provide a molecular framework for understanding the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms by which specified but immature cortical interneurons acquire the subtype-defining molecular and morphophysiological characteristics that allow them to integrate and function within cortical circuits.

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