Differential adhesion between migrating neurons and transient radial glial fibers enables the deployment of neurons into appropriate layers in the developing cerebral cortex. The identity of radial glial signals that regulate the termination of migration remains unclear. Here, we identified a radial glial surface antigen, SPARC (secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine) -like 1, distributed predominantly in radial glial fibers passing through the upper strata of the cortical plate (CP) where neurons end their migration. Neuronal migration and adhesion assays indicate that SPARC-like 1 functions to terminate neuronal migration by reducing the adhesivity of neurons at the top of the CP. Cortical neurons fail to achieve appropriate positions in the absence of SPARC-like 1 function in vivo. Together, these data suggest that antiadhesive signaling via SPARC-like 1 on radial glial cell surfaces may enable neurons to recognize the end of migration in the developing cerebral cortex.
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