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Biochim Biophys Acta 2015 Sep 01;18539:2077-85. doi: 10.1016/j.bbamcr.2014.12.007.
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Kcnip1 a Ca²⁺-dependent transcriptional repressor regulates the size of the neural plate in Xenopus.

Néant I , Mellström B , Gonzalez P , Naranjo JR , Moreau M , Leclerc C .

In amphibian embryos, our previous work has demonstrated that calcium transients occurring in the dorsal ectoderm at the onset of gastrulation are necessary and sufficient to engage the ectodermal cells into a neural fate by inducing neural specific genes. Some of these genes are direct targets of calcium. Here we search for a direct transcriptional mechanism by which calcium signals are acting. The only known mechanism responsible for a direct action of calcium on gene transcription involves an EF-hand Ca²⁺ binding protein which belongs to a group of four proteins (Kcnip1 to 4). Kcnip protein can act in a Ca²⁺-dependent manner as a transcriptional repressor by binding to a specific DNA sequence, the Downstream Regulatory Element (DRE) site. In Xenopus, among the four kcnips, we show that only kcnip1 is timely and spatially present in the presumptive neural territories and is able to bind DRE sites in a Ca²⁺-dependent manner. The loss of function of kcnip1 results in the expansion of the neural plate through an increased proliferation of neural progenitors. Later on, this leads to an impairment in the development of anterior neural structures. We propose that, in the embryo, at the onset of neurogenesis Kcnip1 is the Ca²⁺-dependent transcriptional repressor that controls the size of the neural plate. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: 13th European Symposium on Calcium.

PubMed ID: 25499267
Article link: Biochim Biophys Acta

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: cdknx foxm1 kcnip1 kcnip2 kcnip3 kcnip4 krt12.4 myod1 pax6 prmt1 sox2 sox8 tubb2b zic3
Morpholinos: kcnip1 MO1 kcnip1 MO2

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