SOX2 and NR2F1 coordinate the gene expression program of the early postnatal visual thalamus

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SOX2 and NR2F1 coordinate the gene expression program of the early postnatal visual thalamus

Authors

Serra, L.; Nordin, A.; Jonasson, M.; Marenco, C.; Gullo, F.; Ottolenghi, S.; Zambelli, F.; Studer, M.; Pavesi, G.; Cantu, C.; Nicolis, S. K.; Mercurio, S.

Abstract

The thalamic dorsolateral geniculate nucleus, (dLGN) receives visual input from the retina via the optic nerve, and projects to the cortical visual area, where eye-derived signals are elaborated. The transcription factors SOX2 and NR2F1 are directly involved in the differentiation of dLGN neurons, based on mouse work and patient mutations leading to vision defects. However, whether they regulate each other, or control common targets is still unclear. By RNA-seq analysis of neonatal dLGN from thalamo-specific Sox2 and Nr2f1 mouse mutants, we found a striking overlap of deregulated genes. Among them, VGF, a cytokine transported along thalamic-cortical axons is strongly downregulated in both mutants. CUT&RUN analysis of SOX2 binding in dLGN chromatin identified a binding pattern characteristic of the dLGN. Collectively, the SOX2 and NR2F1-coregulated genes, and cognate SOX2 binding sites, contribute as a basis to understand the gene regulatory network driving the differentiation and connectivity of thalamic neurons.

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