Discovery of transcription factors and other candidate regulators of neural crest development

Meghan S. Adams, Laura S. Gammill, Marianne Bronner-Fraser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Neural crest cells migrate long distances and form divergent derivatives in vertebrate embryos. Despite previous efforts to identify genes up-regulated in neural crest populations, transcription factors have proved to be elusive due to relatively low expression levels and often transient expression. We screened newly induced neural crest cells for early target genes with the aim of identifying transcriptional regulators and other developmentally important genes. This yielded numerous candidate regulators, including 14 transcription factors, many of which were not previously associated with neural crest development. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction confirmed up-regulation of several transcription factors in newly induced neural crest populations in vitro. In a secondary screen by in situ hybridization, we verified the expression of >100 genes in the neural crest. We note that several of the transcription factors and other genes from the screen are expressed in other migratory cell populations and have been implicated in diverse forms of cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1021-1033
Number of pages13
JournalDevelopmental Dynamics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2008


  • Chick
  • EMT
  • Migration
  • Neural crest
  • QPCR
  • Specification
  • Transcription factors


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