Neurogenin 2 controls cortical neuron migration through regulation of Rnd2

Julian Ik-Tsen Heng, Laurent Nguyen, Diogo Castro, Celine Zimmer, Hendrik Wildner, Olivier Armant, Dorota Skowronska-Krawczyk, Francesco Bedogni, Jean-Marc Matter, Robert Hevner, Francois Guillemot

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190 Citations (Scopus)


Motility is a universal property of newly generated neurons. How cell migration is coordinately regulated with other aspects of neuron production is not well understood. Here we show that the proneural protein neurogenin 2 (Neurog2), which controls neurogenesis in the embryonic cerebral cortex, directly induces the expression of the small GTP-binding protein Rnd2 (ref. 3) in newly generated mouse cortical neurons before they initiate migration. Rnd2 silencing leads to a defect in radial migration of cortical neurons similar to that observed when the Neurog2 gene is deleted. Remarkably, restoring Rnd2 expression in Neurog2-mutant neurons is sufficient to rescue their ability to migrate. Our results identify Rnd2 as a novel essential regulator of neuronal migration in the cerebral cortex and demonstrate that Rnd2 is a major effector of Neurog2 function in the promotion of migration. Thus, a proneural protein controls the complex cellular behaviour of cell migration through a remarkably direct pathway involving the transcriptional activation of a small GTP-binding protein.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114 - 118
Number of pages5
Issue number7209
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

Cite this

Heng, J. I-T., Nguyen, L., Castro, D., Zimmer, C., Wildner, H., Armant, O., Skowronska-Krawczyk, D., Bedogni, F., Matter, J-M., Hevner, R., & Guillemot, F. (2008). Neurogenin 2 controls cortical neuron migration through regulation of Rnd2. Nature, 455(7209), 114 - 118.