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p53/p21 pathway activation contributes to the ependymal fate decision downstream of GemC1

G. Ortiz-Álvarez, A. Fortoul, A. Srivastava, M. X. Moreau, B. Bouloudi, C. Mailhes-Hamon, N. Delgehyr, M. Faucourt, M. Bahin, C. Blugeon, M. Breau, V. Géli, F. Causeret, A. Meunier, N.Spassky

Authors : Gonzalo Ortiz-Álvarez, Aurélien Fortoul, Ayush Srivastava, Matthieu X. Moreau, Benoît Bouloudi, Caroline Mailhes-Hamon, Nathalie Delgehyr, Marion Faucourt, Mathieu Bahin, Corinne Blugeon, Marielle Breau, Vincent Géli, Frédéric Causeret, Alice Meunier, Nathalie Spassky


Multiciliated ependymal cells and adult neural stem cells are components of the adult neurogenic niche, essential for brain homeostasis. These cells share a common glial cell lineage regulated by the Geminin family members Geminin and GemC1/Mcidas. Ependymal precursors require GemC1/Mcidas expression to massively amplify centrioles and become multiciliated cells. Here, we show that GemC1-dependent differentiation is initiated in actively cycling radial glial cells, in which a DNA damage response, including DNA replication-associated damage and dysfunctional telomeres, is induced, without affecting cell survival. Genotoxic stress is not sufficient by itself to induce ependymal cell differentiation, although the absence of p53 or p21 in progenitors hinders differentiation by maintaining cell division. Activation of the p53-p21 pathway downstream of GemC1 leads to cell-cycle slowdown/arrest, which permits timely onset of ependymal cell differentiation in progenitor cells.

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Cell Rep. 2022 Dec 13 ;41(11):111810. doi : 10.1016/j.celrep.2022.111810