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Published December 27, 1996 | public
Journal Article

X-MyT1, a Xenopus C2HC-Type Zinc Finger Protein with a Regulatory Function in Neuronal Differentiation


X-MyT1 is a C2HC-type zinc finger protein that we find to be involved in the primary selection of neuronal precursor cells in Xenopus. Expression of this gene is positively regulated by the bHLH protein X-NGNR-1 and negatively regulated by the Notch/Delta signal transduction pathway. X-MyT1 is able to promote ectopic neuronal differentiation and to confer insensitivity to lateral inhibition, but only in cooperation with bHLH transcription factors. Inhibition of X-MyT1 function inhibits normal neurogenesis as well as ectopic neurogenesis caused by overexpression of X-NGNR-1. On the basis of these findings, we suggest that X-MyT1 is a novel, essential element in the cascade of events that allows cells to escape lateral inhibition and to enter the pathway that leads to terminal neuronal differentiation.

Additional Information

© 1996 by Cell Press. Received 8 August 1996, Revised 11 November 1996, Available online 3 October 2000. We are grateful to Regina Buhl, Tina Berneking, and Michaela Beusse-Jendraszek for expert technical assistance. E. J. B thanks Drs. Nancy Papalopulu and Ajay Chitnis for helpful discussions. We also thank Drs. Jacqueline Lee, Peter Gruss, and T. Kornberg for generously providing DNA constructs. E. J. B. is recipient of a long-term EMBO fellowship. This work was supported by funds from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft to T. P.

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