Chen ZF, Paquette AJ, and Anderson DJ. (1998) NRSF/REST is required in vivo for repression of multiple neuronal target genes in both neural and non-neuronal tissues during embryogenesis. Nat. Genet. 20(2): 136-142. PMID: 9771705
The neuron-restrictive silencer factor NRSF (also known as REST and XBR) can silence transcription from neuronal promoters in non-neuronal cell lines, but its function during normal development is unknown. In mice, a targeted mutation of Rest, the gene encoding NRSF, caused derepression of neuron-specific tubulin in a subset of non-neural tissues and embryonic lethality. Mosaic inhibition of NRSF in chicken embryos, using a dominant-negative form of NRSF, also caused derepression of neuronal tubulin, as well as of several other neuronal target genes, in both non-neural tissues and central nervous system neuronal progenitors. These results indicate that NRSF is required to repress neuronal gene expression in vivo, in both extra-neural and undifferentiated neural tissue.