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Transcriptional selectors, masters, and combinatorial codes: regulatory principles of neural subtype specification
University of British Columbia, Canada.
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Microbiology and Molecular Medicine. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
2015 (English)In: WILEY INTERDISCIPLINARY REVIEWS-DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY, ISSN 1759-7684, Vol. 4, no 5, 505-528 p.Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The broad range of tissue and cellular diversity of animals is generated to a large extent by the hierarchical deployment of sequence-specific transcription factors and co-factors (collectively referred to as TFs herein) during development. Our understanding of these developmental processes has been facilitated by the recognition that the activities of many TFs can be meaningfully described by a few functional categories that usefully convey a sense for how the TFs function, and also provides a sense for the regulatory organization of the developmental processes in which they participate. Here, we draw on examples from studies in Caenorhabditis elegans, Drosophila melanogaster, and vertebrates to discuss how the terms spatial selector, temporal selector, tissue/cell type selector, terminal selector and combinatorial code may be usefully applied to categorize the activities of TFs at critical steps of nervous system construction. While we believe that these functional categories are useful for understanding the organizational principles by which TFs direct nervous system construction, we however caution against the assumption that a TFs function can be solely or fully defined by any single functional category. Indeed, most TFs play diverse roles within different functional categories, and their roles can blur the lines we draw between these categories. Regardless, it is our belief that the concepts discussed here are helpful in clarifying the regulatory complexities of nervous system development, and hope they prove useful when interpreting mutant phenotypes, designing future experiments, and programming specific neuronal cell types for use in therapies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Wiley , 2015. Vol. 4, no 5, 505-528 p.
National Category
Clinical Medicine
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-120857DOI: 10.1002/wdev.191ISI: 000359429900004PubMedID: 25855098OAI: diva2:849464

Funding Agencies|Swedish Research Council; Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation; Swedish Cancer Foundation; Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences; Canadian Institutes of Health Research; National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

Available from: 2015-08-28 Created: 2015-08-28 Last updated: 2015-09-03

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