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Dev Neurobiol 2012 Apr 01;724:491-506. doi: 10.1002/dneu.20973.
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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: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus
Genes referenced: adam23 alpl aurka col8a1 ddx39a dnajc27 egr3 fndc3b fuz galnt11 gpx3 gxylt1 hbz hes4 kpnb1 lurap1 mcm3 mcmbp mgrn1 mhc1-uda mt-tr ncapg nop58 npm1 ppip5k1 prdx2 ptmap12 ranbp1 rgs3 slc1a2 spry4 ssbp1 sulf2 tbx2 tk1 tmem114 trmt2a trna tub usp21 zmcm3

Article Images: [+] show captions