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      A Developmental Switch in the Response of DRG Neurons to ETS Transcription Factor Signaling

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          Two ETS transcription factors of the Pea3 subfamily are induced in subpopulations of dorsal root ganglion (DRG) sensory and spinal motor neurons by target-derived factors. Their expression controls late aspects of neuronal differentiation such as target invasion and branching. Here, we show that the late onset of ETS gene expression is an essential requirement for normal sensory neuron differentiation. We provide genetic evidence in the mouse that precocious ETS expression in DRG sensory neurons perturbs axonal projections, the acquisition of terminal differentiation markers, and their dependence on neurotrophic support. Together, our findings indicate that DRG sensory neurons exhibit a temporal developmental switch that can be revealed by distinct responses to ETS transcription factor signaling at sequential steps of neuronal maturation.


          By expressing ETS transcription factors at different developmental stages of dorsal root ganglion development, the authors show that late onset of ETS expression is essential for normal sensory neuron differentiation

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          Most cited references 36

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          Requirement for the homeobox gene Hb9 in the consolidation of motor neuron identity.

          The homeobox gene Hb9, like its close relative MNR2, is expressed selectively by motor neurons (MNs) in the developing vertebrate CNS. In embryonic chick spinal cord, the ectopic expression of MNR2 or Hb9 is sufficient to trigger MN differentiation and to repress the differentiation of an adjacent population of V2 interneurons. Here, we provide genetic evidence that Hb9 has an essential role in MN differentiation. In mice lacking Hb9 function, MNs are generated on schedule and in normal numbers but transiently acquire molecular features of V2 interneurons. The aberrant specification of MN identity is associated with defects in the migration of MNs, the emergence of the subtype identities of MNs, and the projection of motor axons. These findings show that HB9 has an essential function in consolidating the identity of postmitotic MNs.
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            Neurotrophins are required for nerve growth during development.

            Although the requirement of neurotrophins for the prevention of cell death in the peripheral nervous system is well established, their physiological involvement in nerve growth is still unclear. To address this question, we generated a mouse that expresses the green fluorescent protein in post-mitotic neurons, allowing the repeated visualization of all motor and sensory axons during development. We imaged the growth of these axons into the limb bud of day 10.5 embryos. Sensory axons, but rarely motor axons, were targeted to ectopically placed beads containing any of the neurotrophins NGF, BDNF, NT-3 or NT-4/5. Conversely, a combination of function-blocking monoclonal antibodies to NGF, BDNF and NT-3 dramatically inhibited elongation of both sensory and motor axons in the limb bud, indicating that the growth of mixed nerves is dependent upon neurotrophins during development.
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              Diversification of haematopoietic stem cells to specific lineages.

               S Orkin (2000)
              Diverse types of blood cell (lineages) are produced from rare haematopoietic stem cells that reside in the bone marrow. This process, known as haematopoiesis, provides a valuable model for examining how genetic programs are established and executed in vertebrates, and also how homeostasis of blood formation is altered in leukaemias. So, how does an apparently small group of critical lineage-restricted nuclear regulatory factors specify the diversity of haematopoietic cells? Recent findings not only indicate how this may be achieved but also show the extraordinary plasticity of tissue stem cells in vivo.

                Author and article information

                Role: Academic Editor
                PLoS Biol
                PLoS Biology
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
                May 2005
                26 April 2005
                : 3
                : 5
                1simpleBiozentrum, Department of Cell Biology University of Basel, Switzerland and Friedrich Miescher Institute, BaselSwitzerland
                simpleHarvard University United States of America
                Copyright: © 2005 Hippenmeyer et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited
                Research Article
                Mus (Mouse)

                Life sciences


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