Characterization of Basal Endfeet Reveals Roles for Local Gene Regulation in Radial Glia and Cortical Development

Limited Access
This item is unavailable until:



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Repository Usage Stats



Radial glial cells (RGCs) are essential for the generation and organization of neurons in the cerebral cortex. RGCs have an elongated bipolar morphology with basal and apical endfeet that reside in distinct niches. Yet, how this subcellular compartmentalization of RGCs controls cortical development is largely unknown. Here, we employ in vivo proximity labeling, in the mouse, using unfused BirA to generate the first subcellular proteome of RGCs and uncover new principles governing local control of cortical development. We discover a cohort of proteins that are significantly enriched in RGC basal endfeet, with MYH9 and MYH10 among the most abundant. Myh9 and Myh10 transcripts also localize to endfeet with distinct temporal dynamics. Although they each encode isoforms of non-muscle myosin II heavy chain, Myh9 and Myh10 have drastically different requirements for RGC integrity. Myh9 loss from RGCs decreases branching complexity and causes endfoot protrusion through the basement membrane. In contrast, Myh10 controls endfoot adhesion, as mutants have unattached apical and basal endfeet. Finally, we show that Myh9- and Myh10-mediated regulation of RGC complexity and endfoot position non-cell autonomously controls interneuron number and organization in the marginal zone. The first part of this study demonstrates the utility of in vivo proximity labeling for dissecting local control of complex systems, and reveals new mechanisms for dictating RGC integrity and cortical architecture. In the second portion of this work, we have developed a method for purification of endfeet from the embryonic mouse brain and employed it to discover the first global transcriptome of RGC endfeet. Analysis at E15.5 revealed that the network of localized mRNAs is much more extensive than previously appreciated. There are over 3,000 transcripts localized to RGC endfeet and 870 of them are highly enriched in the endfeet compared to the cell body. These data uncovered hundreds of new genes in endfeet and also reinforced our previous findings that cytoskeletal regulators and ECM components are especially important in endfeet. Exploration of the newly discovered localized transcripts will provide valuable insights into additional RGC functions and allow us to assess potential signaling interactions between endfeet and surrounding cells. We also propose a method for subcellular gene knockdown in which we can modulate mRNA levels of a gene of interest in the cell body and endfeet independently in vivo. Through these studies we have discovered vital roles for subcellular gene regulation in RGCs and developed tools to facilitate future studies.





D'Arcy, Brooke R (2023). Characterization of Basal Endfeet Reveals Roles for Local Gene Regulation in Radial Glia and Cortical Development. Dissertation, Duke University. Retrieved from


Dukes student scholarship is made available to the public using a Creative Commons Attribution / Non-commercial / No derivative (CC-BY-NC-ND) license.