Wnt–frizzled signaling in the induction and differentiation of the neural crest

Authors

  • Wang Yanfeng,

    1. Cell and Molecular Biology Graduate Group, University of Pennsylvania
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  • Jean-Pierre Saint-Jeannet,

    1. Cell and Molecular Biology Graduate Group, University of Pennsylvania
    2. Department of Animal Biology (School of Veterinary Medicine), University of Pennsylvania
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  • Peter S. Klein

    Corresponding author
    1. Cell and Molecular Biology Graduate Group, University of Pennsylvania
    2. Department of Medicine (School of Medicine) and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Pennsylvania
    • Cell and Molecular Biology Graduate Group; Department of Medicine (School of Medicine) and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104.
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Abstract

The neural crest is a transient population of multipotent progenitors arising at the lateral edge of the neural plate in vertebrate embryos. After delamination and migration from the neuroepithelium, these cells contribute to a diverse array of tissues including neurons, smooth muscle, craniofacial cartilage, bone cells, endocrine cells and pigment cells. Considerable progress in recent years has furthered our understanding at a molecular level of how this important group of cells is generated and how they are assigned to specific lineages. Here we review a number of recent studies supporting a role for Wnt signaling in neural crest induction, differentiation, and apoptosis. We also summarize the timing of expression of a number of Wnt ligands and receptors with respect to neural crest induction. BioEssays 25:317–325, 2003. © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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