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Neuronal specification is a protracted process that begins with the commitment of progenitor cells and culminates with the generation of mature neurons. Many transcription factors are continuously expressed during this process but it is presently unclear how these factors modify their targets as cells transition through different stages of specification. In olfactory bulb adult neurogenesis, the transcription factor PBX1 controls neurogenesis in progenitor cells and the survival of migrating neuroblasts. Here, we show that, at later differentiation stages, PBX1 also acts as a terminal selector for the dopaminergic neuron fate. PBX1 is also required for the morphological maturation of dopaminergic neurons and to repress alternative interneuron fates, findings that expand the known repertoire of terminal-selector actions. Finally, we reveal that the temporal diversification of PBX1 functions in neuronal specification is achieved, at least in part, through the dynamic regulation of alternative splicing. In Caenorhabditis elegans, PBX/CEH-20 also acts as a dopaminergic neuron terminal selector, which suggests an ancient role for PBX factors in the regulation of terminal differentiation of dopaminergic neurons. © 2020. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.


Laura Remesal, Isabel Roger-Baynat, Laura Chirivella, Miren Maicas, Rebeca Brocal-Ruiz, Ana Pérez-Villalba, Carme Cucarella, Marta Casado, Nuria Flames. PBX1 acts as terminal selector for olfactory bulb dopaminergic neurons. Development (Cambridge, England). 2020 Apr 13;147(8)

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PMID: 32156753

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