Editors' ChoiceNeurobiology

How Not to Differentiate a Neuron

STKE  01 Feb 2005:
Vol. 2005, Issue 269, pp. tw48
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2692005tw48

What do neuronal precursor cells and non-neuronal cells have in common? Neither expresses the genes typical of differentiated neurons. Yeo et al. now show what else is in common: expression of certain SCP phosphatases. The SCP phosphatases serve to repress the expression of neuronal genes, perhaps stabilizing non-neuronal differentiation programs or keeping progenitor cells in check as they wait for their call to action. Inhibition of the SCP phosphatase activity increased neuronal differentiation. It appears that SCP phosphatase activity acts globally to silence neuronal genes in neuronal precursors and non-neuronal cells.

M. Yeo, S.-K. Lee, B. Lee, E. C. Ruiz, S. L. Pfaff, G. N. Gill, Small CTD phosphatases function in silencing neuronal gene expression. Science 307, 596-600 (2005). [Abstract] [Full Text]

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