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Published October 4, 1996 | metadata_only
Journal Article

Identification of neurogenin, a Vertebrate Neuronal Determination Gene


Several bHLH proteins are involved in vertebrate neurogenesis, but those controlling early stages of neuronal determination have not yet been identified. Here we describe a novel, NeuroD-related bHLH protein, NEUROGENIN, whose expression precedes that of NeuroD in both mouse and Xenopus. Expression of Xenopus NEUROGENIN-related-1 (X-NGNR-1) defines the three prospective territories of primary neurogenesis. Overexpression of X-NGNR-1 (or NEUROGENIN) induces ectopic neurogenesis and ectopic expression of XNeuroD mRNA. Endogenous X-ngnr-1 expression becomes restricted to subsets of cells by lateral inhibition, mediated by X-Delta-1 and X-Notch. The properties of X-NGNR-1 are thus analogous to those of the Drosophila proneural genes, suggesting that it functions as a vertebrate neuronal determination factor.

Additional Information

© 1996 Cell Press. Under an Elsevier user license. Received 24 June 1996, Revised 16 August 1996, Available online 3 October 2000. We are grateful to Andres Collazo and Suzanne Cohen-Cory (Fraser laboratory, Caltech) for providing Xenopus embryos for in situ analysis and to Wenying Shou (Dunphy lab) for providing St. 12 and 22 Xenopus embryo cDNAs. We thank Amy Greenwood and Alice Paquette for assistance in dissecting embryonic DRGs, Andy Groves for performing pilot in situ hybridization experiments, Steve Padilla and Ling Wang for technical assistance, and Jacqueline Lee for providing the Xenopus NeuroD cDNA probe. We thank S. Fraser, B. Wold, R. Axel, and K. Zinn for their comments on the manuscript, and the Seaver Institute for support. D. J. A. is an Associate Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. C. K. was supported by a grant from the NIH.

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August 19, 2023
August 19, 2023