Wieland Huttner

Cell biological basis of mammalian neurogenesis

Previous and current research
CNS neurons originate from neuroepithelial cells. We study the cell biological mechanisms underlying the switch of neuroepithelial cells from proliferation to neurogenesis in the mouse embryo. Prior to, during, and as a consequence of, neurogenesis, neuroepithelial cells down-regulate a number of epithelial features. Expression of the antiproliferative gene TIS21 can be used (i) as a tool to distinguish between proliferating and neuron-generating neuroepithelial cells and (ii) as a means of imaging neuron-generating divisions of neuroepithelial cells. To study the distribution, during mitosis, of cellular components in the context of the apico-basal axis of neuroepithelial cells, we have focused on prominin, a pentaspan membrane protein identified by our group that is sorted to the apical surface of neuroepithelial cells and specifically retained in plasma membrane protrusions. Prominin is associated with a novel, cholesterol-based lipid raft.

Future prospects and goals
Future projects concern the cell biological as well as genomic basis of neurogenesis in the mammalian central nervous system. Our goal is to elucidate, at the molecular level, the switch of neuroepithelial cells from proliferative to neuron-generating division.

Selected Publications

Fietz, Simone; Lachmann, Robert; Brandl, Holger; Kircher, Martin; Samusik, Nikolay; Schröder, Roland; Lakshmanaperumal, Naharajan; Henry, Ian; Vogt, Johannes; Riehn, Axel; Distler, Wolfgang; Nitsch, Robert; Enard, Wolfgang; Pääbo, Svante; Huttner, Wieland B.
Transcriptomes of germinal zones of human and mouse fetal neocortex suggest a role of extracellular matrix in progenitor self-renewal.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 109, no. 29, pp. 11836-11841, (2012)
Pulvers, Jeremy N.; Bryk, Jaroslaw; Fish, Jennifer L.; Wilsch-Bräuninger, Michaela; Arai, Yoko; Schreier, Dora; Naumann, Ronald; Helppi, Jussi; Habermann, Bianca; Vogt, Johannes; Nitsch, Robert; Toth, Attila; Enard, Wolfgang; Pääbo, Svante; Huttner, Wieland B.
Mutations in mouse Aspm (abnormal spindle-like microcephaly associated) cause not only microcephaly but also major defects in the germline.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 107, no. 38, pp. 16595-16600, (2010)
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Dubreuil, Veronique; Marzesco, Anne-Marie; Corbeil, Denis; Huttner, Wieland B.; Wilsch-Bräuninger, Michaela
Midbody and primary cilium of neural progenitors release extracellular membrane particles enriched in the stem cell marker prominin-1.
J. Cell Biol., 176, no. 4, pp. 483-495, (2007)
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Fish, Jennifer L.; Kosodo, Yoichi; Enard, Wolfgang; Pääbo, Svante; Huttner, Wieland B.
Aspm specifically maintains symmetric proliferative divisions of neuroepithelial cells.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 103, no. 27, pp. 10438-10443, (2006)
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Huttner, Wieland B.; Kosodo, Yoichi
Symmetric versus asymmetric cell division during neurogenesis in the developing vertebrate central nervous system.
Curr. Opin. Cell Biol., 17, no. 6, pp. 648-657, (2005)
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Calegari, Federico; Haubensak, Wulf; Haffner, Christiane; Huttner, Wieland B.
Selective lengthening of the cell cycle in the neurogenic subpopulation of neural progenitor cells during mouse brain development.
J. Neurosci., 25, no. 28, pp. 6533-6538, (2005)
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Götz, Magdalena; Huttner, Wieland B.
The Cell Biology of Neurogenesis
Nat. Rev. Mol. Cell Biol., 6, pp. 1-13, (2005)
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Kosodo, Yoichi; Röper, Katja; Haubensak, Wulf; Marzesco, Anne-Marie; Corbeil, Denis; Huttner, Wieland B.
Asymmetric distribution of the apical plasma membrane during neurogenic divisions of mammalian neuroepithelial cells.
EMBO J., 23, no. 11, pp. 2314-2324, (2004)
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Haubensak, Wulf; Attardo, Alessio; Denk, Winfried; Huttner, Wieland B.
Neurons arise in the basal neuroepithelium of the early mammalian telencephalon: a major site of neurogenesis.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 101, no. 9, pp. 3196-3201, (2004)
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