The mechanisms that activate some genes while silencing others are critical to ensure precision in lineage specification as multipotent progenitors become restricted in cell fate. During neurodevelopment, these mechanisms are required to generate the diversity of neuronal subtypes found in the nervous system. Here we report interactions between basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcriptional activators and the transcriptional repressor PRDM13 that are critical for specifying dorsal spinal cord neurons. PRDM13 inhibits gene expression programs for excitatory neuronal lineages in the dorsal neural tube. Strikingly, PRDM13 also ensures a battery of ventral neural tube specification genes such as Olig1, Olig2 and Prdm12 are excluded dorsally. PRDM13 does this via recruitment to chromatin by multiple neural bHLH factors to restrict gene expression in specific neuronal lineages. Together these findings highlight the function of PRDM13 in repressing the activity of bHLH transcriptional activators that together are required to achieve precise neuronal specification during mouse development.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)