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Nat Neurosci. 2002 Aug;5(8):737-45.

Conversion of cerebral cortex into basal ganglia in Emx2(-/-) Pax6(Sey/Sey) double-mutant mice.

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Department of Biological and Technological Research (DIBIT), Istituto Scientifico H. San Raffaele, via Olgettina 58, 20132 Milan, Italy.

Erratum in

  • Nat Neurosci. 2002 Aug;5(8):following 745. DiBenedetto, Barbara [corrected to Di Benedetto, Barbara].
  • Nat Neurosci. 2013 Dec;16(12):1906.


The molecular mechanisms that activate morphogenesis of cerebral cortex are currently the subject of intensive experimental analysis. Transcription factor genes of the homeobox, basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) and zinc-finger families have recently been shown to have essential roles in this process. However, the actual selector genes activating corticogenesis have not yet been identified. Here we show that high-level expression of at least one functional allele of either of the homeobox genes Emx2 or Pax6 in the dorsal telencephalon is necessary and sufficient to stably activate morphogenesis of cerebral cortex and to repress that of adjacent structures, such as striatum.

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