Neurogenin 2 controls cortical neuron migration through regulation of Rnd2

Heng, Julian Ik-Tsen; Nguyen, Laurent; Castro, Diogo S.; Zimmer, Céline; Wildner, Hendrik; Armant, Olivier; Skowronska-Krawczyk, Dorota; Bedogni, Francesco; Matter, Jean-Marc; Hevner, Robert; Guillemot, François
September 2008
Nature;9/4/2008, Vol. 455 Issue 7209, p114
Academic Journal
Motility is a universal property of newly generated neurons. How cell migration is coordinately regulated with other aspects of neuron production is not well understood. Here we show that the proneural protein neurogenin 2 (Neurog2), which controls neurogenesis in the embryonic cerebral cortex, directly induces the expression of the small GTP-binding protein Rnd2 (ref. 3) in newly generated mouse cortical neurons before they initiate migration. Rnd2 silencing leads to a defect in radial migration of cortical neurons similar to that observed when the Neurog2 gene is deleted. Remarkably, restoring Rnd2 expression in Neurog2-mutant neurons is sufficient to rescue their ability to migrate. Our results identify Rnd2 as a novel essential regulator of neuronal migration in the cerebral cortex and demonstrate that Rnd2 is a major effector of Neurog2 function in the promotion of migration. Thus, a proneural protein controls the complex cellular behaviour of cell migration through a remarkably direct pathway involving the transcriptional activation of a small GTP-binding protein.


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