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Dissecting early regulatory relationships in the lamprey neural crest gene network

Nikitina, Natalya and Sauka-Spengler, Tatjana and Bronner-Fraser, Marianne (2008) Dissecting early regulatory relationships in the lamprey neural crest gene network. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 105 (51). pp. 20083-20088. ISSN 0027-8424. PMCID PMC2629288. doi:10.1073/pnas.0806009105.

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The neural crest, a multipotent embryonic cell type, originates at the border between neural and nonneural ectoderm. After neural tube closure, these cells undergo an epithelial–mesenchymal transition, migrate to precise, often distant locations, and differentiate into diverse derivatives. Analyses of expression and function of signaling and transcription factors in higher vertebrates has led to the proposal that a neural crest gene regulatory network (NC-GRN) orchestrates neural crest formation. Here, we interrogate the NC-GRN in the lamprey, taking advantage of its slow development and basal phylogenetic position to resolve early inductive events, 1 regulatory step at the time. To establish regulatory relationships at the neural plate border, we assess relative expression of 6 neural crest network genes and effects of individually perturbing each on the remaining 5. The results refine an upstream portion of the NC-GRN and reveal unexpected order and linkages therein; e.g., lamprey AP-2 appears to function early as a neural plate border rather than a neural crest specifier and in a pathway linked to MsxA but independent of ZicA. These findings provide an ancestral framework for performing comparative tests in higher vertebrates in which network linkages may be more difficult to resolve because of their rapid development.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle Information
Sauka-Spengler, Tatjana0000-0001-9289-0263
Bronner-Fraser, Marianne0000-0003-4274-1862
Additional Information:© 2008 by The National Academy of Sciences of the USA. Edited by Michael S. Levine, University of California, Berkeley, CA, and approved October 21, 2008 (received for review June 20, 2008). This article is a PNAS Direct Submission. Published online before print December 22, 2008, doi: 10.1073/pnas.0806009105 This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health Grant DE017911 (to M.B.F.). This paper results from the Arthur M. Sackler Colloquium of the National Academy of Sciences, “Gene Networks in Animal Development and Evolution,” held February 15–16, 2008, at the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center of the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering in Irvine, CA. The complete program and audio files of most presentations are available on the NAS web site at Author contributions: N.N., T.S.-S., and M.B.-F. designed research; N.N. and T.S.-S. performed research; T.S.-S. contributed new reagents/analytic tools; N.N. and T.S.-S. analyzed data; and N.N., T.S.-S., and M.B.-F. wrote the paper. The authors declare no conflict of interest. This article contains supporting information online at
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Subject Keywords:neural plate border; transcription factor; agnathan
Issue or Number:51
PubMed Central ID:PMC2629288
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:NIKpnas08
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:13016
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:15 Jan 2009 20:04
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 22:34

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