Cell Reports (May 2013)

MicroRNA Cluster miR-17-92 Regulates Neural Stem Cell Expansion and Transition to Intermediate Progenitors in the Developing Mouse Neocortex

  • Shan Bian,
  • Janet Hong,
  • Qingsong Li,
  • Laura Schebelle,
  • Andrew Pollock,
  • Jennifer L. Knauss,
  • Vidur Garg,
  • Tao Sun

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 3, no. 5
pp. 1398 – 1406


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During development of the embryonic neocortex, tightly regulated expansion of neural stem cells (NSCs) and their transition to intermediate progenitors (IPs) are critical for normal cortical formation and function. Molecular mechanisms that regulate NSC expansion and transition remain unclear. Here, we demonstrate that the microRNA (miRNA) miR-17-92 cluster is required for maintaining proper populations of cortical radial glial cells (RGCs) and IPs through repression of Pten and Tbr2 protein. Knockout of miR-17-92 and its paralogs specifically in the developing neocortex restricts NSC proliferation, suppresses RGC expansion, and promotes transition of RGCs to IPs. Moreover, Pten and Tbr2 protectors specifically block silencing activities of endogenous miR-17-92 and control proper numbers of RGCs and IPs in vivo. Our results demonstrate a critical role for miRNAs in promoting NSC proliferation and modulating the cell-fate decision of generating distinct neural progenitors in the developing neocortex.