Neural stem cell (NSC) differentiation is controlled by cell-intrinsic and external signals from the stem cell niche including niche surface glia (SG). However, the mechanisms by which transcription factors drive NSC differentiation within the niche remain largely unknown. Here, we show that the transcription factor, Chromatin-linked adaptor for MSL proteins (CLAMP) is required for NSC differentiation. CLAMP promotes transcription of genes involved in stemness, proliferation, and glial development and represses transcription of genes involved in neurogenesis and niche survival. Consistent with transcriptional changes, CLAMP promotes NSC proliferation and SG production. Furthermore, glial-specific knock-down of clamp causes similar phenotypes to clamp null mutants. CLAMP motifs are present at many target genes including the glial-determining gene, glial cells missing, and Notch, a key regulator of neurogenesis. Collectively, our results suggest that CLAMP regulates a transcriptional program which drives NSC proliferation and differentiation via cell-intrinsic and niche-dependent mechanisms that involve niche glia.
bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience