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Keywords:

  • NZF;
  • gene expression;
  • neuronal differentiation;
  • qRT-PCR;
  • in situ hybridization

Background:

Three members of the Myt/NZF family of transcription factors are involved in many processes of vertebrate development. Several studies have reported that Myt1/NZF-2 has a regulatory function in the development of cultured oligodendrocyte progenitors or in neuronal differentiation during Xenopus primary neurogenesis. However, little is known about the proper function of Myt/NZF family proteins during mammalian nervous system development. To assess the possible function of Myt/NZF transcription factors in mammalian neuronal differentiation, we determined the comparative spatial and temporal expression patterns of all three types of Myt/NZF family genes in the embryonic mouse nervous system using quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction and in situ hybridization. Results: All three Myt/NZF family genes were extensively expressed in developing mouse nervous tissues, and their expression was transient. NZF-1 was expressed later in post-mitotic neurons. NZF-2 was initially expressed in neuronal cells a little earlier than NZF-3. NZF-3 was initially expressed in neuronal cells, just after proliferation was complete. Conclusion: These expression patterns suggest that the expression of NZF family genes is spatially and temporally regulated, and each Myt/NZF family gene may have a regulatory function in a specific phase during neuronal differentiation. Developmental Dynamics 243:588–600, 2014. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.