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PLoS Genet. 2013;9(9):e1003851. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1003851. Epub 2013 Sep 26.

A critical role for PDGFRα signaling in medial nasal process development.

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Department of Developmental and Regenerative Biology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York, United States of America.


The primitive face is composed of neural crest cell (NCC) derived prominences. The medial nasal processes (MNP) give rise to the upper lip and vomeronasal organ, and are essential for normal craniofacial development, but the mechanism of MNP development remains largely unknown. PDGFRα signaling is known to be critical for NCC development and craniofacial morphogenesis. In this study, we show that PDGFRα is required for MNP development by maintaining the migration of progenitor neural crest cells (NCCs) and the proliferation of MNP cells. Further investigations reveal that PI3K/Akt and Rac1 signaling mediate PDGFRα function during MNP development. We thus establish PDGFRα as a novel regulator of MNP development and elucidate the roles of its downstream signaling pathways at cellular and molecular levels.

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