Akt1 Mediates Neuronal Differentiation in Zebrafish via a Reciprocal Interaction with Notch Signaling

Abstract

Akt1 is well known for its role in regulating cell proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis and is implicated in tumors and several neurological disorders. However, the role of Akt1 in neural development has not been well defined. We have isolated zebrafish akt1 and shown that this gene is primarily transcribed in the developing nervous system, and its spatiotemporal expression pattern suggests a role in neural differentiation. Injection of akt1 morpholinos resulted in loss of neuronal precursors with a concomitant increase in post-mitotic neurons, indicating that knockdown of Akt1 is sufficient to cause premature differentiation of neurons. A similar phenotype was observed in embryos deficient for Notch signaling. Both the ligand (deltaA) and the downstream target of Notch (her8a) were downregulated in akt1 morphants, indicating that Akt1 is required for Delta-Notch signaling. Furthermore, akt1 expression was downregulated in Delta-Notch signaling-deficient embryos and could be induced by constitutive activation of Notch signaling. In addition, knockdown of Akt1 was able to nullify the inhibition of neuronal differentiation caused by constitutive activation of Notch signaling. Taken together, these results provide in vivo evidence that Akt1 interacts with Notch signaling reciprocally and provide an explanation of why Akt1 is essential for the inhibition of neuronal differentiation.

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0054262

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Cheng2013Akt1MN, title={Akt1 Mediates Neuronal Differentiation in Zebrafish via a Reciprocal Interaction with Notch Signaling}, author={Yi-Chuan Cheng and F Hsieh and Ming-Chang Chiang and P. J. Scotting and Hung-Yu Shih and Sheng-Jia Lin and Hui-lan Wu and Han-Ting Lee}, booktitle={PloS one}, year={2013} }