Msx1 and Pax3 cooperate to mediate FGF8 and WNT signals during Xenopus neural crest induction.
FGF, WNT, and BMP signaling promote neural crest formation at the neural plate boundary in vertebrate embryos. To understand how these signals are integrated, we have analyzed the role of the transcription factors Msx1 and Pax3. Using a combination of overexpression and morpholino-mediated knockdown strategies in Xenopus, we show that Msx1 and Pax3 are both required for neural crest formation, display overlapping but nonidentical activities, and that Pax3 acts downstream of Msx1. In neuralized ectoderm, Msx1 is sufficient to induce multiple early neural crest genes. Msx1 induces Pax3 and ZicR1 cell autonomously, in turn, Pax3 combined with ZicR1 activates Slug in a WNT-dependent manner. Upstream of this, WNTs initiate Slug induction through Pax3 activity, whereas FGF8 induces neural crest through both Msx1 and Pax3 activities. Thus, WNT and FGF8 signals act in parallel at the neural border and converge on Pax3 activity during neural crest induction.
Monsoro-Burq, A-H; Wang, E; Harland, R
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