MACF1 Controls Migration and Positioning of Cortical GABAergic Interneurons in Mice

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GABAergic interneurons develop in the ganglionic eminence in the ventral telencephalon and tangentially migrate into the cortical plate during development. However, key molecules controlling interneuron migration remain poorly identified. Here, we show that microtubule-actin cross-linking factor 1 (MACF1) regulates GABAergic interneuron migration and positioning in the developing mouse brain. To investigate the role of MACF1 in developing interneurons, we conditionally deleted the MACF1 gene in mouse interneuron progenitors and their progeny using Dlx5/6-Cre-IRES-EGFP and Nkx2.1-Cre drivers. We found that MACF1 deletion results in a marked reduction and defective positioning of interneurons in the mouse cerebral cortex and hippocampus, suggesting abnormal interneuron migration. Indeed, the speed and mode of interneuron migration were abnormal in the MACF1-mutant brain, compared with controls. Additionally, MACF1-deleted interneurons showed a significant reduction in the length of their leading processes and dendrites in the mouse brain. Finally, loss of MACF1 decreased microtubule stability in cortical interneurons. Our findings suggest that MACF1 plays a critical role in cortical interneuron migration and positioning in the developing mouse brain.

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