Brain development hamstrung

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Science  11 Sep 2015:
Vol. 349, Issue 6253, pp. 1179-1180
DOI: 10.1126/science.349.6253.1179-f

Mutations in a zinc-finger transcription factor known as Zic2 cause problems in cortical development and can result in schizophrenia symptoms. Studying embryonic mice, Murillo et al. show that this protein supports migrations of several types of neural cells during brain development. The loss of Zic2 hobbled Cajal-Retzius cells, which lay the groundwork for further brain development, as well as cells destined to build key relay and integrative centers in the brain. Normal in number, the stranded Cajal-Retzius cells release their signaling molecule reelin in the wrong places. The migration problems may also range through neural development, affecting cells from the prechordal plate to the neural crest that emigrate from the neural tube.

J. Neurosci. 35, 32 (2015).

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