The transcription factor Zeb2 controls fate specification and subsequent differentiation and maturation of multiple cell types in various embryonic tissues. It binds many protein partners, including activated Smad proteins and the NuRD co-repressor complex. How Zeb2 subdomains support cell differentiation in various contexts has remained elusive. Here, we studied the role of Zeb2 and its domains in neurogenesis and neural differentiation in the young postnatal ventricular-subventricular zone (V-SVZ), in which neural stem cells generate olfactory bulb-destined interneurons. Conditional Zeb2 knockouts and separate acute loss- and gain-of-function approaches indicated that Zeb2 is essential for controlling apoptosis and neuronal differentiation of V-SVZ progenitors before and after birth, and we identified Sox6 as a potential downstream target gene of Zeb2. Zeb2 genetic inactivation impaired the differentiation potential of the V-SVZ niche in a cell-autonomous fashion. We also provide evidence that its normal function in the V-SVZ also involves non-autonomous mechanisms. Additionally, we demonstrate distinct roles for Zeb2 protein-binding domains, suggesting that Zeb2 partners co-determine neuronal output from the mouse V-SVZ in both quantitative and qualitative ways in early postnatal life.

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Development (Cambridge)
Biophysical Genomics, Department Cell Biology & Genetics

Deryckere, A. (Astrid), Stappers, E, Dries, R, Peyre, E. (Elise), van den Berghe, V, Conidi, A, … Seuntjens, E. (2020). Multifaceted actions of Zeb2 in postnatal neurogenesis from the ventricular-subventricular zone to the olfactory bulb. Development (Cambridge), 147(10). doi:10.1242/dev.184861