Cyclins are regulatory proteins that promote the progression of dividing cells through the cell cycle. D-type cyclins are important mediators of the transition from G1 into S phase of the cell cycle and are thought to be widely expressed in mitotically active tissues (Matsushime et al., 1991b; Inaba et al., 1992; Xiong et al., 1992). We report the isolation of a cDNA clone, MN20, which represents a D2 cyclin message form whose expression pattern is highly restricted to brain. MN20 is not ubiquitous, but rather it is expressed only in restricted neuronal precursor populations, for example, in proliferating granule neuroblasts of the cerebellum but not hippocampus. Strikingly, MN20 expression is also found in postmitotic neuronal precursor cells of the embryonic cerebral cortex, but not in the dividing cortical neuroblasts. These observations suggest that the D2 cyclin gene serves regionally specific functions in neuronal differentiation, some of which may be distinct from the promotion of cell cycle progression and which act at the interface between mitosis and the assumption of mature neuronal morphology.