A directional Wnt/β-catenin-Sox2-proneural pathway regulates the transition from proliferation to differentiation in the Xenopus retina

Michalis Agathocleous, Ilina Iordanova, Minde I. Willardsen, Xiao Yan Xue, Monica L. Vetter, William A. Harris, Kathryn B. Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations

Abstract

Progenitor cells in the central nervous system must leave the cell cycle to become neurons and glia, but the signals that coordinate this transition remain largely unknown. We previously found that Wnt signaling, acting through Sox2, promotes neural competence in the Xenopus retina by activating proneural gene expression. We now report that Wnt and Sox2 inhibit neural differentiation through Notch activation. Independently of Sox2, Wnt stimulates retinal progenitor proliferation and this, when combined with the block on differentiation, maintains retinal progenitor fates. Feedback inhibition by Sox2 on Wnt signaling and by the proneural transcription factors on Sox2 mean that each element of the core pathway activates the next element and inhibits the previous one, providing a directional network that ensures retinal cells make the transition from progenitors to neurons and glia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3289-3299
Number of pages11
JournalDevelopment
Volume136
Issue number19
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2009

Keywords

  • Neuron
  • Progenitor
  • Proneural
  • Retina
  • Sox
  • Wnt
  • Xenopus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology

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