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Epigenetic mechanisms are essential in regulating neural progenitor cell self-renewal, with the chromatin-modifying protein Enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2) emerging as a central player in promoting progenitor cell self-renewal during cortical development. Despite this, how Ezh2 is itself regulated remains unclear. Here, we demonstrate that the transcription factor nuclear factor IB (NFIB) plays a key role in this process. Nfib(-/-) mice exhibit an increased number of proliferative ventricular zone cells that express progenitor cell markers and upregulation of EZH2 expression within the neocortex and hippocampus. NFIB binds to the Ezh2 promoter and overexpression of NFIB represses Ezh2 transcription. Finally, key downstream targets of EZH2-mediated epigenetic repression are misregulated in Nfib(-/-) mice. Collectively, these results suggest that the downregulation of Ezh2 transcription by NFIB is an important component of the process of neural progenitor cell differentiation during cortical development.

Original publication




Journal article


The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience

Publication Date





2921 - 2930


Queensland Brain Institute, Institute for Molecular Bioscience, and The School of Biomedical Sciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia 4069, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Brisbane, Australia 4029, and Department of Biochemistry, Program in Genetics, Genomics and Bioinformatics, Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York 14203.


Hippocampus, Cerebral Cortex, Animals, Mice, Knockout, Mice, Electrophoretic Mobility Shift Assay, Microarray Analysis, Cell Count, Immunohistochemistry, Epigenesis, Genetic, Mutation, Female, Male, NFI Transcription Factors, Promoter Regions, Genetic, Neural Stem Cells, Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction, Primary Cell Culture, Polycomb Repressive Complex 2, Enhancer of Zeste Homolog 2 Protein