20220802 A Ctnnb1 enhancer regulates neocortical neurogenesis by controlling the abundance of intermediate progenitors

Wang, J., Wang, A., Tian, K., Hua, X., Zhang, B., Zheng, Y., Kong, X., Li, W., Xu, L., Wang, J., Li, Z., Liu, Y.*, Zhou, Y.* (2022). A Ctnnb1 enhancer regulates neocortical neurogenesis by controlling the abundance of intermediate progenitors. Cell Discov 8, 74.(刘颖、周严)


β-catenin-dependent canonical Wnt signaling plays a plethora of roles in neocortex (Ncx) development, but its function in regulating the abundance of intermediate progenitors (IPs) is elusive. Here we identified neCtnnb1, an evolutionarily conserved cis-regulatory element with typical enhancer features in developing Ncx. neCtnnb1 locates 55 kilobase upstream of and spatially close to the promoter of Ctnnb1, the gene encoding β-catenin. CRISPR/Cas9-mediated activation or interference of the neCtnnb1 locus enhanced or inhibited transcription of Ctnnb1. neCtnnb1 drove transcription predominantly in the subventricular zone of developing Ncx. Knock-out of neCtnnb1 in mice resulted in compromised expression of Ctnnb1 and the Wnt reporter in developing Ncx. Importantly, knock-out of neCtnnb1 lead to reduced production and transit-amplification of IPs, which subsequently generated fewer upper-layer Ncx projection neurons (PNs). In contrast, enhancing the canonical Wnt signaling by stabilizing β-catenin in neCtnnb1-active cells promoted the production of IPs and upper-layer Ncx PNs. ASH2L was identified as the key trans-acting factor that associates with neCtnnb1 and Ctnnb1's promoter to maintain Ctnnb1's transcription in both mouse and human Ncx progenitors. These findings advance understanding of transcriptional regulation of Ctnnb1, and provide insights into mechanisms underlying Ncx expansion during development.


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