Cooperative transcription activation by Nurr1 and Pitx3 induces embryonic stem cell maturation to the midbrain dopamine neuron phenotype.


Journal Article

Midbrain dopamine (DA) neurons play a central role in the regulation of voluntary movement, and their degeneration is associated with Parkinson's disease. Cell replacement therapies, and in particular embryonic stem (ES) cell-derived DA neurons, offer a potential therapeutic venue for Parkinson's disease. We sought to identify genes that can potentiate maturation of ES cell cultures to the midbrain DA neuron phenotype. A number of transcription factors have been implicated in the development of midbrain DA neurons by expression analyses and loss-of-function knockout mouse studies, including Nurr1, Pitx3, Lmx1b, Engrailed-1, and Engrailed-2. However, none of these factors appear sufficient alone to induce the mature midbrain DA neuron phenotype in ES cell cultures in vitro, suggesting a more complex regulatory network. Here we show that Nurr1 and Pitx3 cooperatively promote terminal maturation to the midbrain DA neuron phenotype in murine and human ES cell cultures.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Martinat, C; Bacci, J-J; Leete, T; Kim, J; Vanti, WB; Newman, AH; Cha, JH; Gether, U; Wang, H; Abeliovich, A

Published Date

  • February 13, 2006

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 103 / 8

Start / End Page

  • 2874 - 2879

PubMed ID

  • 16477036

Pubmed Central ID

  • 16477036

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1091-6490

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0027-8424

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1073/pnas.0511153103


  • eng