Neurogenin 2 mediates amyloid-{beta} precursor protein-stimulated neurogenesis [Developmental Biology]

September 12th, 2014 by Bolos, M., Hu, Y., Young, K. M., Foa, L., Small, D. H.

Amyloid-β precursor protein (APP) is well studied for its role in Alzheimers disease, although its normal function remains uncertain. It has been reported that APP stimulates the proliferation and neuronal differentiation of neural stem / progenitor cells (NSPCs). In this study, we examined the role of APP in NSPC differentiation. To identify proteins that may mediate the effect of APP on NSPC differentiation, we used a gene array approach to find genes whose expression correlated with APP-induced neurogenesis. We found that the expression of neurogenin 2 (Ngn2), a basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor, was significantly downregulated in NSPCs from APP knockout mice (APPKO) and increased in APP transgenic (Tg2576) mice. Ngn2 overexpression in APPKO NSPCs promoted neuronal differentiation, whereas siRNA knockdown of Ngn2 expression in wild-type (WT) NSPCs decreased neuronal differentiation. The results demonstrate that APP-stimulated neuronal differentiation of NSPCs is mediated by Ngn2.