The transcriptional control of trunk neural crest induction, survival, and delamination

Dev Cell. 2005 Feb;8(2):179-92. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2004.12.010.


Trunk neural crest cells are generated at the border between the neural plate and nonneural ectoderm, where they initiate a distinct program of gene expression, undergo an epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), and delaminate from the neuroepithelium. Here, we provide evidence that members of three families of transcription induce these properties in premigratory neural crest cells. Sox9 acts to provide the competence for neural crest cells to undergo an EMT and is required for trunk neural crest survival. In the absence of Sox9, cells apoptose prior to or shortly after delamination. Slug/Snail, in the presence of Sox9, is sufficient to induce an EMT in neural epithelial cells, while FoxD3 regulates the expression of cell-cell adhesion molecules required for neural crest migration. Together, the data suggest a model in which a combination of transcription factors regulates the acquisition of the diverse properties of neural crest cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Chick Embryo
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / physiology
  • Embryonic Induction / genetics
  • Epithelium / embryology
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • High Mobility Group Proteins / deficiency
  • High Mobility Group Proteins / genetics
  • High Mobility Group Proteins / physiology
  • Mesoderm / cytology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Models, Biological
  • Neural Crest / embryology*
  • Repressor Proteins / genetics
  • Repressor Proteins / physiology
  • SOX9 Transcription Factor
  • Snail Family Transcription Factors
  • Transcription Factors / deficiency
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / physiology
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Transfection
  • rhoB GTP-Binding Protein / genetics
  • rhoB GTP-Binding Protein / physiology


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors
  • Foxd3 protein, mouse
  • High Mobility Group Proteins
  • Repressor Proteins
  • SOX9 Transcription Factor
  • Snai2 protein, mouse
  • Snail Family Transcription Factors
  • Sox9 protein, mouse
  • Transcription Factors
  • rhoB GTP-Binding Protein