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Development. 2007 Nov;134(21):3771-80. Epub 2007 Sep 26.

Spatial and temporal specification of neural fates by transcription factor codes.

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National Institute for Medical Research, The Ridgeway, Mill Hill, NW7 1AA London, UK.


The vertebrate central nervous system contains a great diversity of neurons and glial cells, which are generated in the embryonic neural tube at specific times and positions. Several classes of transcription factors have been shown to control various steps in the differentiation of progenitor cells in the neural tube and to determine the identity of the cells produced. Recent evidence indicates that combinations of transcription factors of the homeodomain and basic helix-loop-helix families establish molecular codes that determine both where and when the different kinds of neurons and glial cells are generated.

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