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Cell. 2001 Mar 23;104(6):861-73.

Groucho-mediated transcriptional repression establishes progenitor cell pattern and neuronal fate in the ventral neural tube.

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Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Medical Nobel Institute, Karolinska Institute, S-171 77 Stockholm, Sweden.


The pattern of neuronal specification in the ventral neural tube is controlled by homeodomain transcription factors expressed by neural progenitor cells, but no general logic has emerged to explain how these proteins determine neuronal fate. We show that most of these homeodomain proteins possess a conserved eh1 motif that mediates the recruitment of Gro/TLE corepressors. The eh1 motif underlies the function of these proteins as repressors during neural patterning in vivo. Inhibition of Gro/TLE-mediated repression in vivo results in a deregulation of cell pattern in the neural tube. These results imply that the pattern of neurogenesis in the neural tube is achieved through the spatially controlled repression of transcriptional repressors-a derepression strategy of neuronal fate specification.

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