Journal of cell science vol:126 issue:Pt 5 pages:1268-77
Expression of amyloid precursor protein (APP) and its two paralogs, APLP1 and APLP2 during brain development coincides with key cellular events such as neuronal differentiation and migration. However, genetic knockout and shRNA studies have led to contradictory conclusions about their role during embryonic brain development. To address this issue, we analysed in depth the role of APLP2 during neurogenesis by silencing APLP2 in vivo in an APP/APLP1 double knockout mouse background. We find that under these conditions cortical progenitors remain in their undifferentiated state much longer, displaying a higher number of mitotic cells. In addition, we show that neuron-specific APLP2 down-regulation does not impact the speed or position of migrating excitatory cortical neurons. In summary, our data reveal that APLP2 is specifically required for proper cell cycle exit of neuronal progenitors, and thus has a distinct role in priming cortical progenitors for neuronal differentiation.