A dual function of Bcl11b/Ctip2 in hippocampal neurogenesis

Ruth Simon, Heike Brylka, Herbert Schwegler, Sathish Venkataramanappa, Jacqueline Andratschke, Christoph Wiegreffe, Pentao Liu, Elaine Fuchs, Nancy A. Jenkins, Neal G. Copeland, Carmen Birchmeier, Stefan Britsch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


The development of the dentate gyrus is characterized by distinct phases establishing a durable stem-cell pool required for postnatal and adult neurogenesis. Here, we report that Bcl11b/Ctip2, a zinc finger transcription factor expressed in postmitotic neurons, plays a critical role during postnatal development of the dentate gyrus. Forebrain-specific ablation of Bcl11b uncovers dual phase-specific functions of Bcl11b demonstrated by feedback control of the progenitor cell compartment as well as regulation of granule cell differentiation, leading to impaired spatial learning and memory in mutants. Surprisingly, we identified Desmoplakin as a direct transcriptional target of Bcl11b. Similarly to Bcl11b, postnatal neurogenesis and granule cell differentiation are impaired in Desmoplakin mutants. Re-expression of Desmoplakin in Bcl11b mutants rescues impaired neurogenesis, suggesting Desmoplakin to be an essential downstream effector of Bcl11b in hippocampal development. Together, our data define an important novel regulatory pathway in hippocampal development, by linking transcriptional functions of Bcl11b to Desmoplakin, a molecule known to act on cell adhesion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2922-2936
Number of pages15
JournalEMBO Journal
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jul 4 2012


  • Bcl11b/Ctip2
  • dentate gyrus
  • neurogenesis
  • transcription factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)


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