Asymmetric inheritance of Cyclin D2 maintains proliferative neural stem/progenitor cells: A critical event in brain development and evolution

Authors

  • Yuji Tsunekawa,

    1. Gene Expression Laboratory, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, California, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Takako Kikkawa,

    1. Department of Developmental Neuroscience, United Centers for Advanced Research and Translational Medicine (ART), Tohoku University School of Medicine, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Japan
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Noriko Osumi

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Developmental Neuroscience, United Centers for Advanced Research and Translational Medicine (ART), Tohoku University School of Medicine, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Japan
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

Asymmetric cell division and cell cycle regulation are fundamental mechanisms of mammalian brain development and evolution. Cyclin D2, a positive regulator of G1 progression, shows a unique localization within radial glial (RG) cells (i.e., the neural progenitor in the developing neocortex). Cyclin D2 accumulates at the very basal tip of the RG cell (i.e., the basal endfoot) via a unique cis-regulatory sequence found in the 3′ untranslated region (3′UTR) of its mRNA. During RG division, Cyclin D2 protein is asymmetrically distributed to two daughter cells following mitosis. The daughter cell that inherits Cyclin D2 mRNA maintains its self-renewal capability, while its sibling undergoes differentiation. A similar localization pattern of Cyclin D2 protein has been observed in the human fetal cortical primordium, suggesting a common mechanism of maintenance of neural progenitors that may be evolutionarily conserved across higher mammals such as primates. Here, we discuss our findings and the Cyclin D2 function in mammalian brain development and evolution.

Ancillary