Expression of the basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factor Neurogenin1 (Neurog1) coincides with the emergence of the cerebellum and Neurog1-expressing progenitors are fated to become Purkinje cells and later interneurons. However, the gene regulatory functions of Neurog1 in cerebellar development have not been characterized. We performed a genome-wide analysis of gene expression in the cerebellar primordium of E11.5 Neurog1 null (Neurog1-/-) mice to identify the Neurog1 transcriptome in the emerging cerebellum. This screen identified 117 genes differentially enriched in Neurog1-/- versus control sample sets with a high presence of gene sets enriched for functions in nervous system development. Hierarchical clustering revealed complete stratification of differentially expressed genes based on Neurog1 gene deletion status. In silico analysis of promoter regions identifies high probability Neurog1 regulatory (E-box) binding sites in 94 of the 117 differentially expressed genes and Pax6 binding motifs in 25 of these 94 promoters. Our data provide a framework for investigating Neurog1 transcriptional programs in early cerebellar development and suggest functional Neurog1-Pax6 cross-talk in the activation of downstream targets.
- bHLH transcription factor
- Genome-wide expression screen
- Illumina microarray