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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Cug2 is essential for normal mitotic control and CNS development in zebrafish

Hyun-Taek Kim1, Ju-Hoon So1, Seung-Hyun Jung1, Dae-Gwon Ahn1, Wansoo Koh2, Nam-Soon Kim3, Soo-Hyun Kim4, Soojin Lee2* and Cheol-Hee Kim1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Biology, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, South Korea

2 Department of Microbiology, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, South Korea

3 Genome Research Center, Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Daejeon, 305-764, South-Korea

4 Biomedical Sciences, St. George's Medical School, University of London, London, SW17 0RE, UK

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BMC Developmental Biology 2011, 11:49  doi:10.1186/1471-213X-11-49

Published: 15 August 2011

Abstract

Background

We recently identified a novel oncogene, Cancer-upregulated gene 2 (CUG2), which is essential for kinetochore formation and promotes tumorigenesis in mammalian cells. However, the in vivo function of CUG2 has not been studied in animal models.

Results

To study the function of CUG2 in vivo, we isolated a zebrafish homologue that is expressed specifically in the proliferating cells of the central nervous system (CNS). Morpholino-mediated knockdown of cug2 resulted in apoptosis throughout the CNS and the development of neurodegenerative phenotypes. In addition, cug2-deficient embryos contained mitotically arrested cells displaying abnormal spindle formation and chromosome misalignment in the neural plate.

Conclusions

Therefore, our findings suggest that Cug2 is required for normal mitosis during early neurogenesis and has functions in neuronal cell maintenance, thus demonstrating that the cug2 deficient embryos may provide a model system for human neurodegenerative disorders.