In a collaborative paper the Cremer and Bertrand groups demonstrated that in mice and in C. elegans zinc finger transcription factors of the ZIC family repress the generation of dopaminergic neurons, thereby allowing the generation of neurons with other neurotransmitter phenotypes.

The vertebrate brain generates thousands of different neuron types. In this work we investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying this variability. Using a genomics approach we identify the transcription factor signatures of defined neural stem cells and neuron populations. Based thereon we show that two related transcription factors, Zic1 and Zic2, are essential to control the balance between two defined neuron types in the postnatal brain. We show that this mechanism is conserved in evolutionary very distant species.

Zic-proteins are repressors of dopaminergic forebrain fate in mice and C. elegans.
Tiveron MC, Beclin C, Murgan S, Wild S, Angelova A, Marc J, Coré N, de Chevigny A, Herrera E, Bosio A, Bertrand V, Cremer H.
J Neurosci. 2017 Sep 29. pii: 3888-16. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3888-16.2017.