During Drosophila neurogenesis, differential segregation of Numb is necessary for daughter cells of asymmetric divisions to adopt distinct fates, at least partly by biasing the Notch-mediated cell-cell interaction. We have isolated a highly conserved mammalian homolog of Drosophila numb, m-numb. During mouse cortical neurogenesis, m-Numb is asymmetrically localized to the apical membrane of dividing ventricular neural progenitors. Depending upon the orientation of the cleavage plane, m-Numb may be distributed into one or both of the daughter cells. When expressed in Drosophila embryos, m-Numb is localized asymmetrically in dividing neural precursors and rescues the numb mutant phenotype. Furthermore, m-Numb can physically interact with mouse Notch1. We propose that some shared molecular mechanisms, both cell-intrinsic and cell-extrinsic, generate asymmetric cell divisions during neurogenesis of vertebrates and invertebrates.