The transcriptional regulator snon promotes the proliferation of cerebellar granule neuron precursors in the postnatal mouse brain

Xiaoying Chen, Ayan Chanda, Yoshiho Ikeuchi, Xiaoqing Zhang, Jared V. Goodman, Naveen C. Reddy, Shahriyar P. Majidi, Dennis Y. Wu, Sarah E. Smith, Abigail Godec, Anna Oldenborg, Harrison W. Gabel, Guoyan Zhao, Shirin Bonni, Azad Bonni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Control of neuronal precursor cell proliferation is essential for normal brain development, and deregulation of this fundamental developmental event contributes to brain diseases. Typically, neuronal precursor cell proliferation extends over long periods of time during brain development. However, how neuronal precursor proliferation is regulated in a temporally specific manner remains to be elucidated. Here, we report that conditional KO of the transcriptional regulator SnoN in cerebellar granule neuron precursors robustly inhibits the proliferation of these cells and promotes their cell cycle exit at later stages of cerebellar development in the postnatal male and female mouse brain. In laser capture microdissection followed by RNA-Seq, designed to profile gene expression specifically in the external granule layer of the cerebellum, we find that SnoN promotes the expression of cell proliferation genes and concomitantly represses differentiation genes in granule neuron precursors in vivo. Remarkably, bioinformatics analyses reveal that SnoN-regulated genes contain binding sites for the transcription factors N-myc and Pax6, which promote the proliferation and differentiation of granule neuron precursors, respectively. Accordingly, we uncover novel physical interactions of SnoN with N-myc and Pax6 in cells. In behavior analyses, conditional KO of SnoN impairs cerebellar-dependent learning in a delayed eye-blink conditioning paradigm, suggesting that SnoN-regulation of granule neuron precursor proliferation bears functional consequences at the organismal level. Our findings define a novel function and mechanism for the major transcriptional regulator SnoN in the control of granule neuron precursor proliferation in the mammalian brain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-62
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2019


  • Cell proliferation
  • Cerebellar development
  • Granule neuron precursors
  • SnoN
  • Transcriptional regulator


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