Javed A., Mattar, P., Lu, S., Kruczek, K., Kloc, M., Gonzalez-Cordero, A., Bremner, R., Ali, R. R., Cayouette, M. (2020) "Pou2f1 and Pou2f2 cooperate to control the timing of cone photoreceptor production in the developing mouse retina" Development, Vol. 147.
Multipotent retinal progenitor cells (RPCs) generate various cell types in a precise chronological order, but how exactly cone photoreceptor production is restricted to early stages remains unclear. Here, we show that the POU-homeodomain factors Pou2f1/Pou2f2, the homologs of Drosophila temporal identity factors nub/pdm2, regulate the timely production of cones in mice. Forcing sustained expression of Pou2f1 or Pou2f2 in RPCs expands the period of cone production, whereas misexpression in late-stage RPCs triggers ectopic cone production at the expense of late-born fates. Mechanistically, we report that Pou2f1 induces Pou2f2 expression, which binds to a POU motif in the promoter of the rod-inducing factor Nrl to repress its expression. Conversely, conditional inactivation of Pou2f2 in RPCs increases Nrl expression and reduces cone production. Finally, we provide evidence that Pou2f1 is part of a cross-regulatory cascade with the other temporal identity factors Ikzf1 and Casz1. These results uncover Pou2f1/2 as regulators of the temporal window for cone genesis and, given their widespread expression in the nervous system, raise the possibility of a general role in temporal patterning.
Interview in Development » The people behind the papers – Awais Javed and Michel Cayouette « (download PDF interview)