Muralidharan B. et al.
n the developing cerebral cortex, sequential transcriptional programs take neuroepithelial cells from proliferating progenitors to differentiated neurons with unique molecular identities. The regulatory changes that occur in the chromatin of the progenitors are not well understood. During deep layer neurogenesis, we show that transcription factor Lhx2 binds to distal regulatory elements of Fezf2 and Sox11, critical determinants of neuron subtype identity in the mouse neocortex. We demonstrate that Lhx2 binds to the NuRD histone remodeling complex subunits LSD1, HDAC2, and RBBP4, which are proximal regulators of the epigenetic state of chromatin. When Lhx2 is absent, active histone marks at the Fezf2 and Sox11 loci are increased. Loss of Lhx2 produces an increase, and overexpression of Lhx2 causes a decrease, in layer 5 Fezf2 and Ctip2 expressing neurons. Our results provide mechanistic insight into how Lhx2 acts as a necessary and sufficient regulator of genes that control cortical neuronal subtype identity.