• neural crest;
  • embryo;
  • ILF-3;
  • NF-90;
  • neural plate border


Background: The neural crest is a multipotent cell type unique to the vertebrate lineage and capable of differentiating into a large number of varied cell types, including ganglia of the peripheral nervous system, cartilage, and glia. An early step in neural crest specification occurs at the neural plate border, a region defined by the overlap of transcription factors of the Zic, Msx, and Pax families. Results: Here we identify a novel chick gene with close homology to double-stranded RNA-binding protein Interleukin enhancer binding factor 3 (ILF-3) in other species. Our results show that chick Ilf-3 is required for proper expression of the transcription factor, Zic-1, at the neural plate border. Conclusion: We have identified a novel chick gene and show it has a role in the correct specification of Zic-1 at the neural plate border. Developmental Dynamics 241:1325–1332, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.