ReportsNeuroscience

Reprogramming of avian neural crest axial identity and cell fate

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Science  24 Jun 2016:
Vol. 352, Issue 6293, pp. 1570-1573
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf2729

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Versatile embryonic neural crest cells

Neural crest cells wander far and wide through the developing vertebrate embryo to build tissues such as the jaw and peripheral nerves. Simoes-Costa et al. show, studying chick embryos, that not all neural crest cells are alike. The expression of a handful of transcription factors identifies cranial neural crest cells as distinct from trunk neural crest cells. Ectopic expression of some of these factors caused trunk neural crest cells to function as cranial neural crest cells. Thus, embryonic neural crest cells carry subspecialties that are defined but malleable.

Science, this issue p. 1570