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Development August 1, 2010; 137 (15): 2501-5.

PAR-1 promotes primary neurogenesis and asymmetric cell divisions via control of spindle orientation.

Tabler JM , Yamanaka H , Green JB .

In both invertebrate and vertebrate embryonic central nervous systems, deep cells differentiate while superficial (ventricular) epithelial cells remain in a proliferative, stem cell state. The conserved polarity protein PAR-1, which is basolaterally localised in epithelia, promotes and is required for differentiating deep layer cell types, including ciliated cells and neurons. It has recently been shown that atypical protein kinase C (aPKC), which is apically enriched, inhibits neurogenesis and acts as a nuclear determinant, raising the question of how PAR-1 antagonises aPKC activity to promote neurogenesis. Here we show that PAR-1 stimulates the generation of deep cell progeny from the superficial epithelium of the neural plate and that these deep cells have a corresponding (i.e. deep cell) neuronal phenotype. We further show that gain- and loss-of-function of PAR-1 increase and decrease, respectively, the proportion of epithelial mitotic spindles with a vertical orientation, thereby respectively increasing and decreasing the number of cleavages that generate deep daughter cells. PAR-1 is therefore a crucial regulator of the balance between symmetric (two superficial daughters) and asymmetric (one superficial and one deep daughter) cell divisions. Vertebrate PAR-1 thus antagonises the anti-neurogenic influence of apical aPKC by physically partitioning cells away from it in vivo.

PubMed ID: 20573701
Article link: Development
Grant support: [+]
Genes referenced: mark2 mark3 myc prkci tuba4b

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