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Neuron. 1996 Jul;17(1):43-53.

Asymmetric localization of a mammalian numb homolog during mouse cortical neurogenesis.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of California, San Francisco 94143-0724, USA.


During Drosophila neurogenesis, differential segregation of Numb is necessary for daughter cells of asymmetric divisions to adopt distinct fates, at least partly by biasing the Notch-mediated cell-cell interaction. We have isolated a highly conserved mammalian homolog of Drosophila numb, m-numb. During mouse cortical neurogenesis, m-Numb is asymmetrically localized to the apical membrane of dividing ventricular neural progenitors. Depending upon the orientation of the cleavage plane, m-Numb may be distributed into one or both of the daughter cells. When expressed in Drosophila embryos, m-Numb is localized asymmetrically in dividing neural precursors and rescues the numb mutant phenotype. Furthermore, m-Numb can physically interact with mouse Notch1. We propose that some shared molecular mechanisms, both cell-intrinsic and cell-extrinsic, generate asymmetric cell divisions during neurogenesis of vertebrates and invertebrates.

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