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Dev Neurobiol April 1, 2012; 72 (4): 491-506.

A large scale screen for neural stem cell markers in Xenopus retina.

Parain K , Mazurier N , Bronchain O , Borday C , Cabochette P , Chesneau A , Colozza G , El Yakoubi W , Hamdache J , Locker M , Gilchrist MJ , Pollet N , Perron M .

Neural stem cell research suffers from a lack of molecular markers to specifically assess stem or progenitor cell properties. The organization of the Xenopus ciliary marginal zone (CMZ) in the retina allows the spatial distinction of these two cell types: stem cells are confined to the most peripheral region, while progenitors are more central. Despite this clear advantage, very few genes specifically expressed in retinal stem cells have been discovered so far in this model. To gain insight into the molecular signature of these cells, we performed a large-scale expression screen in the Xenopus CMZ, establishing it as a model system for stem cell gene profiling. Eighteen genes expressed specifically in the CMZ stem cell compartment were retrieved and are discussed here. These encode various types of proteins, including factors associated with proliferation, mitotic spindle organization, DNA/RNA processing, and cell adhesion. In addition, the publication of this work in a special issue on Xenopus prompted us to give a more general illustration of the value of large-scale screens in this model species. Thus, beyond neural stem cell specific genes, we give a broader highlight of our screen outcome, describing in particular other retinal cell markers that we found. Finally, we present how these can all be easily retrieved through a novel module we developed in the web-based annotation tool XenMARK, and illustrate the potential of this powerful searchable database in the context of the retina.

PubMed ID: 22275214
Article link: Dev Neurobiol
Grant support: MC_U117597137 Medical Research Council , MRC_MC_U117597137 Medical Research Council

Genes referenced: col8a1 egr3 galnt11 slc1a2 npm1 hbz rgs3 ppip5k1 prdx2 ddx39a usp21 tk1 adam23 kpnb1 lurap1 ptmap12 gpx3 tmem114 spry4 hes4 dnajc27 ranbp1 aurka fndc3b sulf2 mgrn1 zmcm3 ssbp1 trmt2a nop58 alpl ncapg gxylt1 loc100127707 mcmbp tub dnaja2 fn1 fuz mcm3 pola1 ran rlf tbx2

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