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Role of transcription factors Brn-3.1 and Brn-3.2 in auditory and visual system development.

The neurally expressed genes Brn-3.1 and Brn-3.2 (refs 1-6) are mammalian orthologues of the Caenorhabditis elegans unc-86 gene that constitute, with Brn-3.0 (refs 1-3,8,9), the class IV POU-domain transcription factors. Brn-3.1 and Brn-3.2 provide a means of exploring the potentially distinct biological functions of expanded gene families in neural development. The highly related members of the Brn-3 family have similar DNA-binding preferences and overlapping expression patterns in the sensory nervous system, midbrain and hindbrain, suggesting functional redundancy. Here we report that Brn-3.1 and Brn-3.2 critically modulate the terminal differentiation of distinct sensorineural cells in which they exhibit selective spatial and temporal expression patterns. Deletion of the Brn-3.2 gene causes the loss of most retinal ganglion cells, defining distinct ganglion cell populations. Mutation of Brn-3.1 results in complete deafness, owing to a failure of hair cells to appear in the inner ear, with subsequent loss of cochlear and vestibular ganglia.

Pubmed ID: 8637595


  • Erkman L
  • McEvilly RJ
  • Luo L
  • Ryan AK
  • Hooshmand F
  • O'Connell SM
  • Keithley EM
  • Rapaport DH
  • Ryan AF
  • Rosenfeld MG



Publication Data

June 13, 1996

Associated Grants

  • Agency: BLRD VA, Id: I01 BX001205

Mesh Terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Deafness
  • Ear, Inner
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development
  • Eye
  • Gene Deletion
  • Hair Cells, Auditory
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Mice
  • Multigene Family
  • Retina
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells
  • Transcription Factor Brn-3B
  • Transcription Factors