DNA Topoisomerase IIβ and Neural Development

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Science  07 Jan 2000:
Vol. 287, Issue 5450, pp. 131-134
DOI: 10.1126/science.287.5450.131

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DNA topoisomerase IIβ is shown to have an unsuspected and critical role in neural development. Neurogenesis was normal in IIβ mutant mice, but motor axons failed to contact skeletal muscles, and sensory axons failed to enter the spinal cord. Despite an absence of innervation, clusters of acetylcholine receptors were concentrated in the central region of skeletal muscles, thereby revealing patterning mechanisms that are autonomous to skeletal muscle. The defects in motor axon growth in IIβ mutant mice resulted in a breathing impairment and death of the pups shortly after birth.

  • * These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Present address: Vertex Pharmaceuticals, 40 Allison Street, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.

  • Present address: Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of California at San Francisco, 513 Parnassus Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.

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