Pluto Bioinformatics

GSE106640: Extracellular matrix components HAPLN1, lumican and collagen I cause hyaluronic acid-dependent folding of the developing human neocortex

Bulk RNA sequencing

Neocortical expansion, thought to underlie the cognitive traits unique to humans, is accompanied by cortical folding. This folding starts around gestational week (GW) 20, but what causes it remains largely unknown. Extracellular matrix (ECM) has been previously implicated in neocortical expansion. Here, we investigate the potential role of ECM in the formation of neocortical folds. We focus on three specific ECM components localized in the human fetal cortical plate (CP): hyaluronan and proteoglycan link protein 1, lumican and collagen I (collectively, HLC). Addition of HLC to cultures of human fetal neocortex (11-22 GW) caused local changes in tissue stiffness and induced CP folding. HLC-induced folding increased CP hyaluronic acid (HA), required the HA-receptor CD168 and downstream ERK signaling, and was prevented/reversed by hyaluronidases. HLC did not induce CP folding in cultures of developing mouse and ferret neocortex. Together, our data suggest a human-specific role of ECM in neocortical folding. SOURCE: Holger Brandl ( - Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics

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