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Accession IconSRP181957

Molecular basis of neuronal subtype bias introduced by proneural factors Ascl1 and Neurog2 (single-cell RNA-seq)

Organism Icon Mus musculus
Sample Icon 4 Downloadable Samples
Technology Badge IconNextSeq 500

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Basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) proneural transcription factors (TFs) Ascl1 and Neurog2 are integral to the development of the nervous system. Here, we investigated the molecular mechanisms by which Ascl1 and Neurog2 control the acquisition of generic neuronal fate and impose neuronal subtype identity. Using direct neuronal programming of embryonic stem cells, we found that Ascl1 and Neurog2 regulate distinct targets by binding to largely different sets of sites. Their divergent binding pattern is not determined by the previous chromatin state but distinguished by specific E-box enrichments which reflect the DNA sequence preference of the bHLH domain. The divergent Ascl1 and Neurog2 binding patterns result in distinct chromatin accessibility and enhancer activity landscapes that shape the binding and activity of downstream TFs during neuronal specification. Our findings suggest that proneural factors contribute to neuronal diversity by differentially altering the chromatin landscapes that shape the binding of neuronally expressed TFs. Overall design: Single-cell RNA-seq was used to characterize gene expression in mixed populations of mES cells containing induced expression of either Ascl1 or Neurog2.
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