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Title: The regulatory role of Pax6 on cell division cycle associated 7 and cortical progenitor cell proliferation
Author: Huang, Yu-Ting
ISNI:       0000 0004 7229 0377
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2017
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Forebrain development is controlled by a set of transcription factors which are expressed in dynamic spatiotemporal patterns in the embryonic forebrain and are known to regulate complex gene networks. Pax6 is a transcription factor that regulates corticogenesis and mutations affecting Pax6 protein levels cause neurodevelopmental defects in the eyes and forebrain in both humans and mice. In previous studies, it was shown that the graded expression pattern of Pax6 protein, which is high rostro-laterally to low caudo-medially in the cerebral cortex, is critical for its control of cell cycle progression and proliferation of cortical progenitors. However the underlying mechanisms are still unclear. Based on a microarray analysis carried out in our laboratory, a number of cell cycle-related candidate genes that may be affected by Pax6 have been identified. One such gene, Cell division cycle associated 7 (Cdca7) is expressed in a counter-gradient against that of Pax6. In my current study, I found that Cdca7 mRNA expression in the telencephalon is upregulated in Pax6 null (Small eye) mutants and downregulated in mice that overexpress PAX6 (PAX77) across developing time points from E12.5 to E15.5. There are several potential Pax6 binding motifs located in the genomic locus upstream of Cdca7. However, by chromatin immunoprecipitation, it is showed that none of the predicted binding sites are physically bound by Pax6. Promoter luciferase assays using fragments combining five suspected binding motifs show that Pax6 is functionally critical. Cdca7 is also identified as a Myc and E2F1 direct target and is upregulated in some tumours but its biological role is not fully understood. Current work using in utero electroporation to overexpress Cdca7 around the lateral telencephalon, where Cdca7 expression levels are normally low, tested the effects on the proliferation and differentiation of cortical progenitor cells in this region. In E12.5 mice embryos, overexpression of Cdca7 protein causes fewer intermediate progenitor cells and post-mitotic neurons to be produced but these effects were not found in E14.5 embryos. This result implies that Cdca7 may affect cell fate decision during cortical development.
Supervisor: Price, David ; Mason, John Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Cdca7 ; Pax6 ; cortical development ; Intermediate progenitors ; proliferation ; in utero electroporation ; neurogenesis