Author(s): Chen YH, Gianino SM, Gutmann DH
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Abstract Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is a common neurodevelopmental disorder caused by impaired function of the neurofibromin RAS regulator. Using a combination of Nf1 genetically engineered mice and pharmacological/genetic inhibition approaches, we report that neurofibromin differentially controls neural stem cell (NSC) proliferation and multilineage differentiation through the selective use of the PI3K/AKT and RAF/MEK pathways. While PI3K/AKT governs neurofibromin-regulated NSC proliferation, multilineage differentiation is MEK-dependent. Moreover, whereas MEK-regulated multilineage differentiation requires Smad3-induced Jagged-1 expression and Notch activation, MEK/Smad3-regulated Hes1 induction is only responsible for astrocyte and neuronal differentiation. Collectively, these findings establish distinct roles for the RAS effector pathways in regulating brain NSC function. © 2015 Chen et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.
This article was published in Genes Dev
and referenced in Advancements in Genetic Engineering