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Gamma and Alpha Motor Neurons Distinguished by Expression of Transcription Factor Err3
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • Andreas Friese
  • Julia A. Kaltschmidt
  • David R. Ladle, Wright State University - Main Campus
  • Markus Sigrist
  • Thomas M. Jessell
  • Silvia Arber
Document Type
Conference Proceeding
Publication Date
8-11-2009
Abstract

Spinal motor neurons are specified to innervate different muscle targets through combinatorial programs of transcription factor expression. Whether transcriptional programs also establish finer aspects of motor neuron subtype identity, notably the prominent functional distinction between alpha and gamma motor neurons, remains unclear. In this study, we identify DNA binding proteins with complementary expression profiles in alpha and gamma motor neurons, providing evidence for molecular distinctions in these two motor neuron subtypes. The transcription factor Err3 is expressed at high levels in gamma but not alpha motor neurons, whereas the neuronal DNA binding protein NeuN marks alpha but not gamma motor neurons. Signals from muscle spindles are needed to support the differentiation of Err3on/NeuNoff presumptive gamma motor neurons, whereas direct proprioceptive sensory input to a motor neuron pool is apparently dispensable. Together, these findings provide evidence that transcriptional programs define functionally distinct motor neuron subpopulations, even within anatomically defined motor pools.

DOI
10.1073/pnas.0906809106
Citation Information
Andreas Friese, Julia A. Kaltschmidt, David R. Ladle, Markus Sigrist, et al.. "Gamma and Alpha Motor Neurons Distinguished by Expression of Transcription Factor Err3" Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Vol. 106 Iss. 32 (2009) p. 13588 - 13593 ISSN: 0027-8424
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/david_ladle/12/