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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Xenopus Nbx, a novel NK-1 related gene essential for neural crest formation.

The vertebrate neural crest is formed at the border between the neural plate and nonneural ectoderm during neurulation and eventually gives rise to a variety of cell types, including neurons, glia, facial chondrocytes and osteoblasts, and melanocytes. Although several secreted molecules, such as BMP, Wnts, FGF, and Noelin, have been implicated in neural crest formation, little is known about the precise intracellular mechanism underlying neural crest induction and differentiation. Here, we have identified a novel NK-1 class homeobox gene Nbx in Xenopus whose expression is correlated with neural crest formation. We also found that Nbx harbors an Eh1 domain and is a transcriptional repressor. Overexpression of Nbx suppressed neural plate makers and caused enhanced expression of the neural crest maker Slug. In contrast, the overexpression of a dominant negative form of Nbx during neurula stages suppressed the expression of the neural crest marker Slug and expanded neural markers such as Otx2 and Sox2. Taken together, we propose that Nbx is an essential transcriptional repressor required to permit neural crest induction by inhibiting the neural fate.[1]


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