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Dev Biol. 2007 Dec 15;312(2):533-44. Epub 2007 Oct 5.

A critical role for Cadherin6B in regulating avian neural crest emigration.

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California Institute of Technology, Division of Biology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA.


Neural crest cells originate in the dorsal neural tube but subsequently undergo an epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), delaminate, and migrate to diverse locations in the embryo where they contribute to a variety of derivatives. Cadherins are a family of cell-cell adhesion molecules expressed in a broad range of embryonic tissues, including the neural tube. In particular, cadherin6B (Cad6B) is expressed in the dorsal neural tube prior to neural crest emigration but is then repressed by the transcription factor Snail2, expressed by premigratory and early migrating cranial neural crest cells. To examine the role of Cad6B during neural crest EMT, we have perturbed Cad6B protein levels in the cranial neural crest-forming region and have examined subsequent effects on emigration and migration. The results show that knock-down of Cad6B leads to premature neural crest cell emigration, whereas Cad6B overexpression disrupts migration. Our data reveal a novel role for Cad6B in controlling the proper timing of neural crest emigration and delamination from the neural tube of the avian embryo.

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