RRC ID 59488
Author Feng W, Li Y, Dao P, Aburas J, Islam P, Elbaz B, Kolarzyk A, Brown AE, Kratsios P.
Title A terminal selector prevents a Hox transcriptional switch to safeguard motor neuron identity throughout life.
Journal Elife
Abstract To become and remain functional, individual neuron types must select during development and maintain throughout life their distinct terminal identity features, such as expression of specific neurotransmitter receptors, ion channels and neuropeptides. Here, we report a molecular mechanism that enables cholinergic motor neurons (MNs) in the C. elegans ventral nerve cord to select and maintain their unique terminal identity. This mechanism relies on the dual function of the conserved terminal selector UNC-3 (Collier/Ebf). UNC-3 synergizes with LIN-39 (Scr/Dfd/Hox4-5) to directly co-activate multiple terminal identity traits specific to cholinergic MNs, but also antagonizes LIN-39's ability to activate terminal features of alternative neuronal identities. Loss of unc-3 causes a switch in the transcriptional targets of LIN-39, thereby alternative, not cholinergic MN-specific, terminal features become activated and locomotion defects occur. The strategy of a terminal selector preventing a transcriptional switch may constitute a general principle for safeguarding neuronal identity throughout life.
Volume 9
Published 2020-1-3
DOI 10.7554/eLife.50065
PII 50065
PMID 31902393
PMC PMC6944445
MeSH Animals Caenorhabditis elegans / embryology Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics* Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / genetics* Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / metabolism Cholinergic Neurons / cytology* Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental* Homeodomain Proteins / genetics* Homeodomain Proteins / metabolism Motor Neurons / cytology* Transcription Factors / genetics* Transcription Factors / metabolism
IF 7.551
Times Cited 2
C.elegans tm4063