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Ddx20, an Olig2 binding factor, governs the survival of neural and oligodendrocyte progenitor cells via proper Mdm2 splicing and p53 suppression

Bizen N, Bepari AK, Zhou L, Abe M, Sakimura K, Ono K, Takebayashi H
Cell Death Differ. 2022 Jan 1. doi: 10.1038/s41418-021-00915-8. Online ahead of print
Olig2 is indispensable for motoneuron and oligodendrocyte fate-specification in the pMN domain of embryonic spinal cords, and also involved in the proliferation and differentiation of several cell types in the nervous system, including neural progenitor cells (NPCs) and oligodendrocytes. However, how Olig2 controls these diverse biological processes remains unclear. Here, we demonstrated that a novel Olig2-binding protein, DEAD-box helicase 20 (Ddx20), is indispensable for the survival of NPCs and oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs). A central nervous system (CNS)-specific Ddx20 conditional knockout (cKO) demonstrated apoptosis and cell cycle arrest in NPCs and OPCs, through the potentiation of the p53 pathway in DNA damage-dependent and independent manners, including SMN complex disruption and the abnormal splicing of Mdm2 mRNA. Analyzes of Olig2 null NPCs showed that Olig2 contributed to NPC proliferation through Ddx20 protein stabilization. Our findings provide novel mechanisms underlying the Olig2-mediated proliferation of NPCs, via the Ddx20-p53 axis, in the embryonic CNS.
Organism or Cell Type: 
mouse embryo E14.5
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