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Dev Biol. 2003 Aug 1;260(1):79-96.

Sox10 is required for the early development of the prospective neural crest in Xenopus embryos.

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  • 1Millennium Nucleus in Developmental Biology, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Chile, Casilla 653, Santiago, Chile.

Abstract

The Sox family of transcription factors has been implicated in the development of different tissues during embryogenesis. Several mutations in humans, mice, and zebrafish have shown that depletion of Sox10 activity produces defects in the development of neural crest derivatives, such as melanocytes, ganglia of the peripheral nervous system, and some specific cell types as glia. We have isolated the Xenopus homologue of the Sox10 gene. It is expressed in prospective neural crest and otic placode regions from the earliest stages of neural crest specification and in migrating cranial and trunk neural crest cells. Loss-of-function experiments using morpholino antisense oligos against Sox10 produce a loss of neural crest precursors and an enlargement of the surrounding neural plate and epidermis. This effect of Sox10 depletion is produced during some of the earliest steps of neural crest specification, as is shown by the inhibition in the expression of Slug and FoxD3, which are early markers of neural crest specification. In addition, we show that Sox10 depletion leads to an increase in apoptosis and a decrease in cell proliferation in the neural folds, suggesting that Sox10 could work as a survival as well as a specification factor in neural crest precursors during premigratory stages. Although some of the deficiencies found in the Waardenburg syndrome and in the Hirschprung disease could be associated with a failure of the development of crest derivatives during the late phase of its development, or even during adulthood, our results suggest that inhibition of Sox10 activity produces an earlier failure of neural crest precursors. In experiments where melanocytes and ganglia were induced in vivo and in vitro, we were able to block their development by inhibiting Sox10 activity. These results are compatible with an additional late role of Sox10 on development of neural crest derivatives, as it has been previously proposed. We show that Sox10 expression is dependent on FGF and Wnt activity, both in the neural crest and in the otic placode territories. Finally, in order to establish the position of Sox10 in the hierarchical cascade of gene activation required for neural crest specification, we used inducible forms of the wild type and dominant negatives for the Snail and Slug genes. Our results show that Snail is able to control Sox10 expression. However, the overexpression of Slug was not able to upregulate Sox10 expression. Taken together, these results indicate that Sox10 may lie between Snail and Slug in the genetic cascade that controls neural crest development.

PMID:
12885557
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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