Protogenin defines a transition stage during embryonic neurogenesis and prevents precocious neuronal differentiation

Yu Hui Wong, Ai Chu Lu, Yu Chiuan Wang, Hsu Chen Cheng, Celia Chang, Po Hao Chen, Jenn Yah Yu, Ming Ji Fann*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Many Ig superfamily members are expressed in the developing nervous system, but the functions of these molecules during neurogenesis are not all clear. Here, we explore the expression and function of one of members of this superfamily, protogenin (PRTG), in the developing nervous system. Expression of PRTG protein is strong in the neural tube of mouse embryos between embryonic days 7.75 and 9.5 but disappears after embryonic day 10.5 when the neural progenitor marker nestin expresses prominently. Perturbation of PRTG activity in P19 embryonal carcinoma cells and in chick embryos, by either RNA interference or a dominant-negative PRTG mutant, increases neuronal differentiation. Using yeast two-hybrid screening and an in situ binding assay, we were able to identify ERdj3 (a stress-inducible endoplasmic reticulum DnaJ homolog) as a putative PRTG ligand. Addition of purified ERdj3 protein into the P19 differentiation assay reduced neurogenesis. This effect was blocked by addition of either a neutralizing antibody againstPRTGor purified PRTG ectodomain protein, indicating that the effect of ERdj3 on neurogenesis is mediated through PRTG. Forced expression of ERdj3 in the chick neural tube also impairs neuronal differentiation. Together, these results suggest that expression of PRTG defines a stage between pluripotent epiblasts and committed neural progenitors, and its signaling plays a critical role in suppressing premature neuronal differentiation during early neural development. Copyright

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4428-4439
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number12
StatePublished - 24 Mar 2010


Dive into the research topics of 'Protogenin defines a transition stage during embryonic neurogenesis and prevents precocious neuronal differentiation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this