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Maintenance of motor neuron progenitors in Xenopus requires a novel localized cyclin

Summary: Maintenance of motor neuron progenitors in Xenopus
requires a novel localized cyclin
Jun-An Chen1, Sin-Tak Chu2 & Enrique Amaya1,3+
1The Gurdon Institute, Department of Zoology and University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK, 2Institute of Biological Chemistry,
Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan, and 3Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
The ventral spinal cord contains a pool of motor neuron
progenitors (pMNs), which sequentially generate motor neurons
and oligodendrocytes in the embryo. The mechanisms responsible
for the maintenance of pMNs are not clearly understood. We
have identified a novel cyclin, cyclin Dx (ccndx), which is
specifically expressed in pMNs in Xenopus. Here, we show that
inhibition of ccndx causes paralysis in embryos. Furthermore,
we show that maintenance of pMNs requires ccndx function.
In addition, inhibition of ccndx results in the specific loss of
differentiated motor neurons. However, the expression of
interneuron or sensory neuron markers is unaffected in these
embryos, suggesting that the role of ccndx is specifically to
maintain pMNs. Thus, we have identified, for the first time,
a tissue-specific cell-cycle regulator that is essential for the
maintenance of a pool of neural progenitors in the vertebrate


Source: Amaya, Enrique - Healing Foundation Centre & Developmental Biology, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester


Collections: Biology and Medicine