Sealing Cortical Cell Fate

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Science  02 Jan 2004:
Vol. 303, Issue 5654, pp. 48-49
DOI: 10.1126/science.1093398

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The complexity of the nervous system sets a difficult task for the neuronal progenitor cells that must generate diverse types of neurons during development. It is clear, as Levitt explains in his Perspective, that progressive restriction of cell fate in progenitor cells is a principal mechanism by which neuronal diversity is generated. New work by Hanashima and colleagues now shows that the transcription factor Foxg1 contributes to this progressive restriction of cell fate by actively suppressing production of an early type of neuron in layer I of the cerebral cortex in favor of later neurons found in layers VI and V.