Astrocytes in the adult brain show cellular plasticity; however, whether they have the potential to generate multiple lineages remains unclear. Here, we perform in vivo screens and identify DLX2 as a transcription factor that can unleash the multipotentiality of adult resident astrocytes. Genetic lineage tracing and time-course analyses reveal that DLX2 enables astrocytes to rapidly become ASCL1+ neural progenitor cells, which give rise to neurons, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes in the adult mouse striatum. Single-cell transcriptomics and pseudotime trajectories further confirm a neural stem cell-like behavior of reprogrammed astrocytes, transitioning from quiescence to activation, proliferation, and neurogenesis. Gene regulatory networks and mouse genetics identify and confirm key nodes mediating DLX2-dependent fate reprogramming. These include activation of endogenous DLX family transcription factors and suppression of Notch signaling. Such reprogramming-induced multipotency of resident glial cells may be exploited for neural regeneration.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Mar 15 2022|
- in vivo reprogramming
- induced neural progenitor cells
ASJC Scopus subject areas