The neural crest, a cell type found only in vertebrate embryos, gives rise to the structures of the skull and face and most of the peripheral nervous system, as well as other cell types characteristic of vertebrates. These cells are of great clinical significance and a wide variety of congenital defects are due to aberrant neural crest development. Increasing numbers of studies are contributing to our understanding of how this group of cells form and differentiate during normal development. Wnt, FGF, BMP, and Notch-mediated signals all have essential roles in this process, and several of these signals appear to play multiple temporally distinct roles. Changes in the response of neural crest cells to the same signal over time may be mediated, in part, by an ever-changing cocktail of transcription factors expressed within these cells. Neural crest development is thus a complex multistep process, and elucidating the molecular mechanisms that mediate distinct aspects of this process will require that we determine the role of each of these factors alone and in combination. Here, we review some recent advances in our understanding of the signals and downstream transcription factors involved in neural crest cell formation.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||16|
|Journal||Birth Defects Research Part C - Embryo Today: Reviews|
|State||Published - Jun 2004|
- Neural crest
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental Biology