In a study published in Nature communications, the group of André Goffinet, WELBIO Investigator at UCL, shows that Diaph3 is expressed in cerebral neural progenitor cells, and absolutely required for a balanced segregation of their chromosomes during mitosis.
Formin Diaph3 regulates fission at the end of cell division. In Diaph3 mutant mice, a massive death of neural progenitors results in a microcephaly evocative of syndrome MOPD-II (a form of Microcephalic Primordial Dwarfism). In terms of molecular mechanisms, absence of Diaph3 destabilizes BubR1, which triggers premature anaphase entry with unbalanced chromosome segregation in daughter cells.
Damiani et al. Lack of Diaph3 relaxes the spindle checkpoint causing the loss of neural progenitors, Nature Communications 7, Article number: 13509 (2016) doi:10.1038/ncomms13509