In the developing neocortex, cells in the ventricular/subventricular zone are largely multipotent neural stem cells and neural progenitor cells. These cells undergo self-renewal at the early stage of embryonic development to amplify the progenitor pool and subsequently differentiate into neurons. It is thus of considerable interest to investigate mechanisms controlling the switch from neural stem cells or neural progenitor cells to neurons. Here, we present evidence that Kif2a, a member of the Kinesin-13 family, plays a role in regulating the proliferation and differentiation of neural stem cells or neural progenitor cells at embryonic day 13.5. Silencing Kif2a by use of in utero electroporation of Kif2a shRNA reduced neural stem cells proliferation or self-renewal but increased neuronal differentiation. We further found that knockdown of Kif2a decreased the protein level of β-catenin, which is a critical molecule for neocortical neurogenesis. Together, these results reveal an important function of Kif2a in embryonic neocortical neurogenesis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)