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Dev Cell. 2005 Feb;8(2):179-92.

The transcriptional control of trunk neural crest induction, survival, and delamination.

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Developmental Neurobiology, National Institute for Medical Research, Mill Hill, London, NW7 1AA, UK.


Trunk neural crest cells are generated at the border between the neural plate and nonneural ectoderm, where they initiate a distinct program of gene expression, undergo an epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), and delaminate from the neuroepithelium. Here, we provide evidence that members of three families of transcription induce these properties in premigratory neural crest cells. Sox9 acts to provide the competence for neural crest cells to undergo an EMT and is required for trunk neural crest survival. In the absence of Sox9, cells apoptose prior to or shortly after delamination. Slug/Snail, in the presence of Sox9, is sufficient to induce an EMT in neural epithelial cells, while FoxD3 regulates the expression of cell-cell adhesion molecules required for neural crest migration. Together, the data suggest a model in which a combination of transcription factors regulates the acquisition of the diverse properties of neural crest cells.

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