Regionalized choroid plexus-cerebrospinal fluid factors and effect of DNA Ligase IV deficiency in the developing mammalian brain
Fundamental to mammalian brain development is the integration of cell intrinsic and extrinsic signals that direct the proliferation and differentiation of neural stem cells. Precise expression of transcription factors together with other intracellular components instruct progenitor cell fate, whereas interaction with extracellular signaling factors refines this process. We have elucidated the composition of the cerebrospinal fluid that is the source of multiple extrinsic cues during brain development. The choroid plexus, a highly vascularized tissue located in each ventricle of the brain, actively secretes cerebrospinal fluid. By RNA sequencing, we obtained transcriptome data on the choroid plexi from lateral and fourth ventricles of the mouse brain and discovered that they include transcripts unique to each tissue. Transcription factor expression in the macaque and human choroid plexi suggests that positional identities of these tissues are conserved in the primate brain. Based on transcriptional results, we defined the choroid plexus secretome, a prediction of secreted factors from the choroid plexus. By quantitative mass spectrometry, we detected proteins secreted by each choroid plexus, and comparison of these proteomic results with transcriptional profiling suggests that choroid plexus transcriptomes contribute to availability of regionalized cerebrospinal fluid factors during development. In the second part of my dissertation research, I studied the role of DNA repair mechanisms in regulating neural stem cells. These studies focused on DNA LigaseIV, an essential component of DNA double-stranded break repair, during cerebral cortical development. Deficiency of LigaseIV activity caused by a missense mutation leads to LigaseIV syndrome, in which a key clinical feature is microcephaly. Using the Lig4 R278H mouse mutant, we found increased cell death in the developing cortex, contributing to reduced cortical thickness and cellularity in the anterior cerebral cortex. These results indicate that DNA LigaseIV is essential for proper cortical development. Together, these findings illustrate the complexity of regulatory mechanisms that guide brain development, requiring the integration of mechanisms from within and outside the cell. We have investigated two such mechanisms, extrinsic cues from regionalized cerebrospinal fluid and DNA LigaseIV. These results should provide greater insight into mechanisms of normal brain development and neuropathological states.