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J Cell Sci. 2013 Mar 1;126(Pt 5):1268-77. doi: 10.1242/jcs.122440. Epub 2013 Jan 23.

APLP2 regulates neuronal stem cell differentiation during cortical development.

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KU Leuven, Center for Human Genetics and Leuven Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases, 3000 Leuven, Belgium.


Expression of amyloid precursor protein (APP) and its two paralogues, APLP1 and APLP2 during brain development coincides with key cellular events such as neuronal differentiation and migration. However, genetic knockout and shRNA studies have led to contradictory conclusions about their role during embryonic brain development. To address this issue, we analysed in depth the role of APLP2 during neurogenesis by silencing APLP2 in vivo in an APP/APLP1 double knockout mouse background. We find that under these conditions cortical progenitors remain in their undifferentiated state much longer, displaying a higher number of mitotic cells. In addition, we show that neuron-specific APLP2 downregulation does not impact the speed or position of migrating excitatory cortical neurons. In summary, our data reveal that APLP2 is specifically required for proper cell cycle exit of neuronal progenitors, and thus has a distinct role in priming cortical progenitors for neuronal differentiation.

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