Gene-regulatory interactions in neural crest evolution and development

Dev Cell. 2004 Sep;7(3):291-9. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2004.08.007.


In this review, we outline the gene-regulatory interactions driving neural crest development and compare these to a hypothetical network operating in the embryonic ectoderm of the cephalochordate amphioxus. While the early stages of ectodermal patterning appear conserved between amphioxus and vertebrates, later activation of neural crest-specific factors at the neural plate border appears to be a vertebrate novelty. This difference may reflect co-option of genetic pathways which conferred novel properties upon the evolving vertebrate neural plate border, potentiating the evolution of definitive neural crest.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Down-Regulation
  • Ectoderm / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Invertebrates / embryology
  • Models, Biological
  • Neural Crest / embryology*
  • Phenotype
  • Signal Transduction