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Nat Commun. 2013;4:2879. doi: 10.1038/ncomms3879.

APC/C-Cdh1 coordinates neurogenesis and cortical size during development.

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1] Instituto de Investigación Biomédica de Salamanca (IBSAL), Hospital Universitario de Salamanca, Fundación IECSCYL, 37007 Salamanca, Spain [2] Instituto de Biología Funcional y Genómica (IBFG), CSIC/Universidad de Salamanca, IBSAL, 37007 Salamanca, Spain.


The morphology of the adult brain is the result of a delicate balance between neural progenitor proliferation and the initiation of neurogenesis in the embryonic period. Here we assessed whether the anaphase-promoting complex/cyclosome (APC/C) cofactor, Cdh1--which regulates mitosis exit and G1-phase length in dividing cells--regulates neurogenesis in vivo. We use an embryo-restricted Cdh1 knockout mouse model and show that functional APC/C-Cdh1 ubiquitin ligase activity is required for both terminal differentiation of cortical neurons in vitro and neurogenesis in vivo. Further, genetic ablation of Cdh1 impairs the ability of APC/C to promote neurogenesis by delaying the exit of the progenitor cells from the cell cycle. This causes replicative stress and p53-mediated apoptotic death resulting in decreased number of cortical neurons and cortex size. These results demonstrate that APC/C-Cdh1 coordinates cortical neurogenesis and size, thus posing Cdh1 in the molecular pathogenesis of congenital neurodevelopmental disorders, such as microcephaly.

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