The evolutionarily conserved basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factors play important roles during development. Here we report the identification of Nato3 (nephew of atonal fer3) orthologs in Drosophila, C. elegans, mouse, and man, all of which share a high degree of similarity within the bHLH domain. Expression analysis revealed Nato3 transcripts in the central nervous system of both fly and mouse embryos. In the fly, Dnato3 is highly expressed in 9-15h embryos in a few ventral nerve cord cells and a subset of neurons in the brain. In mouse, the MNato3 transcripts were detected from embryonic day 7 until 5 weeks postnatally, with highest levels in the midbrain, thalamus, hypothalamus, pons, and medulla oblongata. In contrast to the brain, expression in the spinal cord was limited to the embryonic stages.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank Ron Goldstein for his critical reading of the manuscript, and Nissim Benvenisty and Uri Gat for sharing reagents. N.B.-A. is a recipient of the Alon and Teva Young Investigator Awards, and is a member of the Eric Roland Center for Neurodegenerative Disorders. This work was supported by the Leopold, Norman and Sara Israel Foundation, Le Foundation Levi de Veali, Julius Oppenheimer Endowment Fund for Human Health, and the USA–Israel Binational Science Foundation (grant number 98-66 to N.B.-A.). This work was also supported by a ‘Research Career Development Award’ from the Israel Cancer Research Fund to A.S., and by The Israel Science Foundation (grant number 219/00 to A.S.).
- Basic helix-hoop-helix
- Central nervous system
- Embryonic development
- Proneural genes
- Transcription factor