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Development January 1, 2017; 144 (19): 3602-3611.

Notch signaling patterns neurogenic ectoderm and regulates the asymmetric division of neural progenitors in sea urchin embryos.

Mellott DO , Thisdelle J , Burke RD .

We have examined regulation of neurogenesis by Delta/Notch signaling in sea urchin embryos. At gastrulation, neural progenitors enter S phase coincident with expression of Sp-SoxC. We used a BAC containing GFP knocked into the Sp-SoxC locus to label neural progenitors. Live imaging and immunolocalizations indicate that Sp-SoxC-expressing cells divide to produce pairs of adjacent cells expressing GFP. Over an interval of about 6 h, one cell fragments, undergoes apoptosis and expresses high levels of activated Caspase3. A Notch reporter indicates that Notch signaling is activated in cells adjacent to cells expressing Sp-SoxC. Inhibition of γ-secretase, injection of Sp-Delta morpholinos or CRISPR/Cas9-induced mutation of Sp-Delta results in supernumerary neural progenitors and neurons. Interfering with Notch signaling increases neural progenitor recruitment and pairs of neural progenitors. Thus, Notch signaling restricts the number of neural progenitors recruited and regulates the fate of progeny of the asymmetric division. We propose a model in which localized signaling converts ectodermal and ciliary band cells to neural progenitors that divide asymmetrically to produce a neural precursor and an apoptotic cell.

PubMed ID: 28851710
Article link: Development

Genes referenced: LOC105446078 LOC115921237 sox4
Morpholinos: dll1 MO4