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Dev Biol. 2012 Jun 1;366(1):55-63. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2012.02.038. Epub 2012 Mar 10.

Specification of neural crest into sensory neuron and melanocyte lineages.

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  • 1Genetic Disease Research Branch, National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA. bpavan@mail.nih.gov


Elucidating the mechanisms by which multipotent cells differentiate into distinct lineages is a common theme underlying developmental biology investigations. Progress has been made in understanding some of the essential factors and pathways involved in the specification of different lineages from the neural crest. These include gene regulatory networks involving transcription factor hierarchies and input from signaling pathways mediated from environmental cues. In this review, we examine the mechanisms for two lineages that are derived from the neural crest, peripheral sensory neurons and melanocytes. Insights into the specification of these cell types may reveal common themes in the specification processes that occur throughout development.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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