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Nat Rev Genet. 2002 Jun;3(6):453-61.

Induction of the neural crest: a multigene process.

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Division of Biology 139-74, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125, USA.


In the embryo, the neural crest is an important population of cells that gives rise to diverse derivatives, including the peripheral nervous system and the craniofacial skeleton. Evolutionarily, the neural crest is of interest as an important innovation in vertebrates. Experimentally, it represents an excellent system for studying fundamental developmental processes, such as tissue induction. Classical embryologists have identified interactions between tissues that lead to neural crest formation. More recently, geneticists and molecular biologists have identified the genes that are involved in these interactions; this recent work has revealed that induction of the neural crest is a complex multistep process that involves many genes.

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