Research Publications


The transcription factor Nerfin-1 prevents reversion of neurons into neural stem cells

Froldi, F; Szuperak, M; Weng, CF; Shi, W; Papenfuss, AT; Cheng, LY
Genes Dev
Journal Article
Cellular dedifferentiation is the regression of a cell from a specialized state to a more multipotent state and is implicated in cancer. However, the transcriptional network that prevents differentiated cells from reacquiring stem cell fate is so far unclear. Neuroblasts (NBs), the Drosophila neural stem cells, are a model for the regulation of stem cell self-renewal and differentiation. Here we show that the Drosophila zinc finger transcription factor Nervous fingers 1 (Nerfin-1) locks neurons into differentiation, preventing their reversion into NBs. Following Prospero-dependent neuronal specification in the ganglion mother cell (GMC), a Nerfin-1-specific transcriptional program maintains differentiation in the post-mitotic neurons. The loss of Nerfin-1 causes reversion to multipotency and results in tumors in several neural lineages. Both the onset and rate of neuronal dedifferentiation in nerfin-1 mutant lineages are dependent on Myc- and target of rapamycin (Tor)-mediated cellular growth. In addition, Nerfin-1 is required for NB differentiation at the end of neurogenesis. RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) analysis show that Nerfin-1 administers its function by repression of self-renewing-specific and activation of differentiation-specific genes. Our findings support the model of bidirectional interconvertibility between neural stem cells and their post-mitotic progeny and highlight the importance of the Nerfin-1-regulated transcriptional program in neuronal maintenance.
© 2015 Froldi et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press This article is distributed exclusively by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press for the first six months After six months, it is available under a Creative Commons License (Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International), as described at

Creation Date 2015-01-22 11:26:06 Last Modified 2016-04-20 11:12:08