FOXG1 Directly Suppresses Wnt5a During the Development of the Hippocampus

Yang Ni 1 • Bin Liu 1 • Xiaojing Wu 1 • Junhua Liu 1 • Ru Ba 1 • Chunjie Zhao 1

1 Key Laboratory of Developmental Genes and Human Diseases, Ministry of Education, School of Medicine, Southeast University, Nanjing 210009, China




The Wnt signaling pathway plays key roles in various developmental processes. Wnt5a, which activates the non-canonical pathway, has been shown to be particularly important for axon guidance and outgrowth as well as dendrite morphogenesis. However, the mechanism underlying the regulation of Wnt5a remains unclear. Here, through conditional disruption of Foxg1 in hippocampal progenitors and postmitotic neurons achieved by crossing Foxg1fl/fl with Emx1-Cre and Nex-Cre, respectively, we found that Wnt5a rather than Wnt3a/Wnt2b was markedly upregulated. Overexpression of Foxg1 had the opposite effects along with decreased dendritic complexity and reduced mossy fibers in the hippocampus. We further demonstrated that FOXG1 directly repressed Wnt5a by binding to its promoter and one enhancer site. These results expand our knowledge of the interaction between Foxg1 and Wnt signaling and help elucidate the mechanisms underlying hippocampal development.