IMR Press / FBL / Volume 9 / Issue 1 / DOI: 10.2741/1208

Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Open Access Article
Querkopf, a histone acetyltransferase, is essential for embryonic neurogenesis
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1 Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
Academic Editor:John Leah
Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2004, 9(1), 24–31;
Published: 1 January 2004
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Regulation of gene expression in the brain)

DNA binding transcription factors require the presence of co-activators in order to exert their effects on the pattern of gene expression in a cell. An essential element of co-activator complexes is one or more proteins that have histone acetyltransferase activity. In a gene trap screen for mutations affecting brain development, we identified a member of the MYST family histone acetyltransferases, Querkopf. Querkopf is the mouse homologue of the human protein MORF and both these proteins are closely related to MOZ. Querkopf shows a dynamic pattern of expression in the telencephalon. It is initially expressed strongly in the dorsal telencephalon and then in the ventral telencephalon. This suggests that, unusually for a histone acetyltransferase, part of its activity is regulated at the transcriptional level. Mice carrying a mutation in the querkopf gene have defects in the development of the cerebral cortex. At all stages of fetal development querkopf mutant mice show a reduced number of cells in the cortical plate resulting in a reduction in the size of the adult cortex. The adult cortex in these mice contains less large pyramidal cells and a reduced number of interneurons. In addition Querkopf is also involved in adult neurogenesis. In this short review we examine the role of co-activators of transcription in general and the function of Querkopf in particular.

Histone acetyltransferase
Stem cells
Cerebral cortex
Pyramidal neuron
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