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J Biol Chem 2017 Apr 07;29214:5676-5684. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M117.777110.
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Dual roles of Akirin2 protein during Xenopus neural development.

Liu X , Xia Y , Tang J , Ma L , Li C , Ma P , Mao B .

To ensure correct spatial and temporal patterning, embryos must maintain pluripotent cell populations and control when cells undergo commitment. The newly identified nucleoprotein Akirin has been shown to modulate the innate immune response through epigenetic regulation and to play important roles in other physiological processes, but its role in neural development remains unknown. Here we show that Akirin2 is required for neural development in Xenopus and that knockdown of Akirin2 expands the expression of the neural progenitor marker Sox2 and inhibits expression of the differentiated neuronal marker N-tubulin. Akirin2 acts antagonistically to Geminin, thus regulating Sox2 expression, and maintains the neural precursor state by participating in the Brg1/Brm-associated factor (BAF) complex mediated by BAF53a. Additionally, Akirin2 also modulates N-tubulin expression by acting upstream of neuronal differentiation 1 (NeuroD) and in parallel with neurogenin-related 1 (Ngnr1) during terminal neuronal differentiation. Thus, our results reveal a novel model in which Akirin2 precisely coordinates and temporally controls Xenopus neural development.

PubMed ID: 28193841
PMC ID: PMC5392563
Article link: J Biol Chem

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: actl6a akirin1 akirin2 banf1 gmnn neurod1 neurog1 neurog2 nkx6-2 sox2 tubb2b
Morpholinos: Akirin2 MO1

Article Images: [+] show captions
References [+] :
Aigner, A small gem with great powers: geminin keeps neural progenitors thriving. 2005, Pubmed, Xenbase