Eya1 and Six1 promote neurogenesis in the cranial placodes in a SoxB1-dependent fashion

Gerhard Schlosser, Tammy Awtry, Samantha A. Brugmann, Eric D. Jensen, Karen Neilson, Gui Ruan, Angelika Stammler, Doris Voelker, Bo Yan, Chi Zhang, Michael W. Klymkowsky, Sally A. Moody

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


Genes of the Eya family and of the Six1/2 subfamily are expressed throughout development of vertebrate cranial placodes and are required for their differentiation into ganglia and sense organs. How they regulate placodal neurogenesis, however, remains unclear. Through loss of function studies in Xenopus we show that Eya1 and Six1 are required for neuronal differentiation in all neurogenic placodes. The effects of overexpression of Eya1 or Six1 are dose dependent. At higher levels, Eya1 and Six1 expand the expression of SoxB1 genes (Sox2, Sox3), maintain cells in a proliferative state and block expression of neuronal determination and differentiation genes. At lower levels, Eya1 and Six1 promote neuronal differentiation, acting downstream of and/or parallel to Ngnr1. Our findings suggest that Eya1 and Six1 are required for both the regulation of placodal neuronal progenitor proliferation, through their effects on SoxB1 expression, and subsequent neuronal differentiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-214
Number of pages16
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 1 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Cell cycle
  • Epibranchial placodes
  • Lateral line placodes
  • NeuroD
  • Neurogenin
  • Olfactory placode
  • Otic placode
  • Trigeminal placode
  • Xenopus
  • p27


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