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Mol Cell Neurosci. 2001 Oct;18(4):394-406.

Two signal transduction pathways involved in the catecholaminergic differentiation of avian neural crest-derived cells in vitro.

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Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Medical College of Ohio, Toledo, Ohio 43614, USA.


Molecules derived from the neural tube and found in chick embryo extract (CEE) and bone morphogenetic proteins (BMP) support the differentiation of neural crest-derived catecholaminergic (CA) neurons. We now report that intracellular signaling resulting in the activation of Map kinase (MapK) or translocation of Smad1 mediate the differentiation of CA neurons in response to CEE or BMP 4, respectively. The differentiation of CA neurons was significantly reduced by inhibiting MapK using PD98059 or by pan-specific blockade of tyrosine kinases using Herbimycin A. In the presence of BMP 4 and inhibitors of MapK signaling, differentiation of CA neurons was only moderately reduced. Independent of MapK, BMP 4 induced translocation of Smad1 from the cytosol to the nucleus and induced transcription of dHAND, a DNA binding protein required for the differentiation of CA neurons. The data suggest that CEE-derived factors and BMP4 support the differentiation of CA neurons via independent signaling pathways.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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