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NvPOU4/Brain3 Functions as a Terminal Selector Gene in the Nervous System of the Cnidarian Nematostella vectensis

Tourniere, O and Dolan, D and Richards, GS and Sunagar, K and Columbus-Shenkar, YY and Moran, Y and Rentzsch, F (2020) NvPOU4/Brain3 Functions as a Terminal Selector Gene in the Nervous System of the Cnidarian Nematostella vectensis. In: Cell Reports, 30 (13). 4473-4489.e5.

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Official URL: https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2020.03.031


Terminal selectors are transcription factors that control the morphological, physiological, and molecular features that characterize distinct cell types. Here, we show that, in the sea anemone Nematostella vectensis, NvPOU4 is expressed in post-mitotic cells that give rise to a diverse set of neural cell types, including cnidocytes and NvElav1-expressing neurons. Morphological analyses of NvPOU4 mutants crossed to transgenic reporter lines show that the loss of NvPOU4 does not affect the initial specification of neural cells. Transcriptomes derived from the mutants and from different neural cell populations reveal that NvPOU4 is required for the execution of the terminal differentiation program of these neural cells. These findings suggest that POU4 genes have ancient functions as terminal selectors for morphologically and functionally disparate types of neurons and they provide experimental support for the relevance of terminal selectors for understanding the evolution of cell types.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Cell Reports
Publisher: CELL PRESS
Additional Information: The copyright of this article belongs to CELL PRESS
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2021 09:46
Last Modified: 07 Apr 2021 09:46
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/65102

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