BACKGROUND: Homeodomain (HD) transcription factor (TF) NKX2-1 critical for the regional specification of the medial ganglionic eminence (MGE) as well as promoting the GABAergic and cholinergic neuron fates via the induction of TFs such as LHX6 and LHX8. NKX2-1 defines MGE regional identity in large part through transcriptional repression, while specification and maturation of GABAergic and cholinergic fates is mediated in part by transcriptional activation via TFs such as LHX6 and LHX8. Here we analyze the signaling and TF pathways, downstream of NKX2-1, required for GABAergic and cholinergic neuron fate maturation.
METHODS: Differential ChIP-seq analysis was used to identify regulatory elements (REs) where chromatin state was sensitive to change in the Nkx2-1cKO MGE at embryonic day (E) 13.5. TF motifs in the REs were identified using RSAT. CRISPR-mediated genome editing was used to generate enhancer knockouts. Differential gene expression in these knockouts was analyzed through RT-qPCR and in situ hybridization. Functional analysis of motifs within hs623 was analyzed via site directed mutagenesis and reporter assays in primary MGE cultures.
RESULTS: We identified 4782 activating REs (aREs) and 6391 repressing REs (rREs) in the Nkx2-1 conditional knockout (Nkx2-1cKO) MGE. aREs are associated with basic-Helix-Loop-Helix (bHLH) TFs. Deletion of hs623, an intragenic Tcf12 aRE, caused a reduction of Tcf12 expression in the sub-ventricular zone (SVZ) and mantle zone (MZ) of the MGE. Mutation of LHX, SOX and octamers, within hs623, caused a reduction of hs623 activity in MGE primary cultures.
CONCLUSIONS: Tcf12 expression in the SVZ of the MGE is mediated through aRE hs623. The activity of hs623 is dependent on LHX6, SOX and octamers. Thus, maintaining the expression of Tcf12 in the SVZ involves on TF pathways parallel and genetically downstream of NKX2-1.
- Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors/genetics
- Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats/genetics
- Embryo, Mammalian
- Gene Deletion
- Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental/genetics
- Gene Regulatory Networks/physiology
- Geniculate Bodies/cytology
- Homeodomain Proteins/metabolism
- LIM-Homeodomain Proteins/genetics
- Mice, Transgenic
- Nerve Tissue Proteins/genetics
- Oligodendrocyte Transcription Factor 2/genetics
- Organ Culture Techniques
- Regulatory Elements, Transcriptional/physiology
- Thyroid Nuclear Factor 1/genetics
- Transcription Factors/genetics
Fields of Expertise
- Human- & Biotechnology