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Development. 2000 Jul;127(14):3021-30.

Misexpression of basic helix-loop-helix genes in the murine cerebral cortex affects cell fate choices and neuronal survival.

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  • 1Department of Genetics, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


To investigate the role(s) of basic helix-loop-helix genes (bHLH) genes in the developing murine cerebral cortex, Mash1, Math2, Math3, Neurogenin1 (Ngn1), Ngn2, NeuroD, NeuroD2 and Id1 were transduced in vivo into the embryonic and postnatal cerebral cortex using retrovirus vectors. The morphology and location of infected cells were analyzed at postnatal stages. The data indicate that a subset of bHLH genes are capable of regulating the choice of neuronal versus glial fate and that, when misexpressed, they can be deleterious to the survival of differentiating neurons, but not glia.

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