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Tissue-Specific Stem Cells
Article first published online: 19 APR 2011
Copyright © 2011 AlphaMed Press
Volume 29, Issue 5, pages 858–870, May 2011
How to Cite
Gouti, M., Briscoe, J. and Gavalas, A. (2011), Anterior Hox Genes Interact with Components of the Neural Crest Specification Network to Induce Neural Crest Fates. STEM CELLS, 29: 858–870. doi: 10.1002/stem.630
Author contributions: M.G.: conception and design, collection of data, data analysis and interpretation; J.B.: financial support, provision of study material, data analysis and interpretation, manuscript writing; A.G.: conception and design, financial support, collection of data, data analysis and interpretation, manuscript writing, final approval of manuscript.
First published online in STEM CELLS EXPRESS March 23, 2011.
Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest is found at the end of this article.
Re-use of this article is permitted in accordance with the Terms and Conditions set out at http://wileyonlinelibrary.com/onlineopen#OnlineOpen_Terms
- Issue published online: 19 APR 2011
- Article first published online: 19 APR 2011
- Accepted manuscript online: 23 MAR 2011 01:40PM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 2 MAR 2011
- Manuscript Received: 11 JAN 2011
- Wellcome Trust Project. Grant Number: WT083464MA
- Hox genes;
- Neural crest specification;
- Epithelial mesenchymal transition;
- Snail genes;
- Bmp and Notch signaling
Hox genes play a central role in neural crest (NC) patterning particularly in the cranial region of the body. Despite evidence that simultaneous loss of Hoxa1 and Hoxb1 function resulted in NC specification defects, the role of Hox genes in NC specification has remained unclear due to extended genetic redundancy among Hox genes. To circumvent this problem, we expressed anterior Hox genes in the trunk neural tube of the developing chick embryo. This demonstrated that anterior Hox genes play a central role in NC cell specification by rapidly inducing the key transcription factors Snail2 and Msx1/2 and a neural progenitor to NC cell fate switch characterized by cell adhesion changes and an epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Cells delaminated from dorsal and medial neural tube levels and generated ectopic neurons, glia progenitors, and melanocytes. The mobilization of the NC genetic cascade was dependent upon bone morphogenetic protein signaling and optimal levels of Notch signaling. Therefore, anterior Hox patterning genes participate in NC specification and EMT by interacting with NC-inducing signaling pathways and regulating the expression of key genes involved in these processes. STEM CELLS 2011;29:858–870