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Insights from the amphioxus genome on the origin of vertebrate neural crest

Yu, Jr-Kai and Meulemans, Daniel and McKeown, Sonja J. and Bronner-Fraser, Marianne (2008) Insights from the amphioxus genome on the origin of vertebrate neural crest. Genome Research, 18 (7). pp. 1127-1132. ISSN 1088-9051. PMCID PMC2493401. doi:10.1101/gr.076208.108.

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The emergence of the neural crest has been proposed to play a key role in early vertebrate evolution by remodeling the chordate head into a “new head” that enabled early vertebrates to shift from filter feeding to active predation. Here we show that the genome of the basal chordate, amphioxus, contains homologs of most vertebrate genes implicated in a putative neural crest gene regulatory network (NC-GRN) for neural crest development. Our survey of gene expression shows that early inducing signals, neural plate border patterning genes, and melanocyte differentiation genes appear conserved. Furthermore, exogenous BMP affects expression of amphioxus neural plate border genes as in vertebrates, suggesting that conserved signals specify the neural plate border throughout chordates. In contrast to this core conservation, many neural crest specifier genes are not expressed at the amphioxus neural plate/tube border, raising the intriguing possibility that this level of the network was co-opted during vertebrate evolution. Consistent with this, the regulatory region of AmphiFoxD, homologous to the vertebrate neural crest specifier FoxD3, drives tissue-specific reporter expression in chick mesoderm, but not neural crest. Thus, evolution of a new regulatory element may have allowed co-option of this gene to the NC-GRN.

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Bronner-Fraser, Marianne0000-0003-4274-1862
Additional Information:© 2008, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press. The Authors acknowledge that six months after the full-issue publication date, the Article will be distributed under a Creative Commons CC-BY-NC License (Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, Received January 23, 2008; accepted in revised form March 13, 2008. We thank Linda Holland, Noriyuki Satoh, Yutaka Satou, and Yuji Kohara for the amphioxus EST resources, and the Joint Genome Institute for the amphioxus genome sequence resources. We also thank John Lawrence, Susan Bell, Ray Martinez Jr., and James Swigart at the University of South Florida for providing laboratory facilities during the summer breeding season of amphioxus. We thank Hisato Kondoh for donating the ptkEGFP vector and Tatjana Sauka-Spengler for providing the pRFP-H2B plasmid. This work was funded by a grant from National Institutes of Health DE017911 (M.B.-F). J.-K.Y was supported by the Della Martin prize postdoctoral fellowship from the Division of Biology, California Institute of Technology. S.J.M. is supported by an Australian Government NH&MRC CJ Martin fellowship.
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Caltech Division of BiologyUNSPECIFIED
National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)UNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:7
PubMed Central ID:PMC2493401
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160203-090815347
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Official Citation:Yu, J.-K., Meulemans, D., McKeown, S. J., & Bronner-Fraser, M. (2008). Insights from the amphioxus genome on the origin of vertebrate neural crest. Genome Research, 18(7), 1127–1132.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:64184
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:03 Feb 2016 23:15
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 23:27

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