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Stem Cells. 2008 Jul;26(7):1663-72. doi: 10.1634/stemcells.2007-0884. Epub 2008 May 8.

Concise review: Pax6 transcription factor contributes to both embryonic and adult neurogenesis as a multifunctional regulator.

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Division of Developmental Neuroscience, Center for Translational and Advanced Animal Research, Tohoku University School of Medicine, 2-1, Seiryo-machi, Aoba-ku, Sendai 980-8575, Japan.


Pax6 is a highly conserved transcription factor among vertebrates and is important in various developmental processes in the central nervous system (CNS), including patterning of the neural tube, migration of neurons, and formation of neural circuits. In this review, we focus on the role of Pax6 in embryonic and postnatal neurogenesis, namely, production of new neurons from neural stem/progenitor cells, because Pax6 is intensely expressed in these cells from the initial stage of CNS development and in neurogenic niches (the subgranular zone of the hippocampal dentate gyrus and the subventricular zone of the lateral ventricle) throughout life. Pax6 is a multifunctional player regulating proliferation and differentiation through the control of expression of different downstream molecules in a highly context-dependent manner.

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