Single-cell analysis of Foxp1-driven mechanisms essential for striatal development

Ashley G. Anderson, Ashwinikumar Kulkarni, Matthew Harper, Genevieve Konopka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The striatum is a critical forebrain structure for integrating cognitive, sensory, and motor information from diverse brain regions into meaningful behavioral output. However, the transcriptional mechanisms that underlie striatal development and organization at single-cell resolution remain unknown. Here, we show that Foxp1, a transcription factor strongly linked to autism and intellectual disability, regulates organizational features of striatal circuitry in a cell-type-dependent fashion. Using single-cell RNA-sequencing, we examine the cellular diversity of the early postnatal striatum and find that cell-type-specific deletion of Foxp1 in striatal projection neurons alters the cellular composition and neurochemical architecture of the striatum. Importantly, using this approach, we identify the non-cell autonomous effects produced by disrupting Foxp1 in one cell-type and the molecular compensation that occurs in other populations. Finally, we identify Foxp1-regulated target genes within distinct cell-types and connect these molecular changes to functional and behavioral deficits relevant to phenotypes described in patients with FOXP1 loss-of-function mutations. These data reveal cell-type-specific transcriptional mechanisms underlying distinct features of striatal circuitry and identify Foxp1 as a key regulator of striatal development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalUnknown Journal
StatePublished - Apr 18 2019


  • autism
  • FOXP1
  • neurodevelopment
  • single-cell RNA-sequencing
  • striatum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

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