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Enhancer that controls a key glial gene found

Research Achievements

Enhancer that controls a key glial gene found

Radial glia serve as neural stem cells in early neurogenesis of the central nervous system. How the radial glial state is maintained remains a key question. IGERT Trainee Elina Tzatzalos in the Cai laboratory at Rutgers has found a novel enhancer that controls a key glial gene, Notch1, and preserves the self-renewing glial state. Guided by computational methods, she designed an enhancer candidate, Notch1CR2, located in the Notch1 gene. By injecting the Notch1CR2-gene and electroporation into the neural tube, Elina discovered that Notch1CR2 remains active in the optic lobe, and thus supports self-renewing, undifferentiated stem cells during early neurogenesis. Neural specific transcription factors were found to interact with Notch1CR2, providing evidence for the role of Notch1CR2 as an enhancer for Notch1 in undifferentiated cell phenotypes of early neurogenesis. This work was presented at the Society for Neuroscience in Fall 2010.