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Type: Journal article
Title: Transcriptome profiling reveals expression signatures of cranial neural crest cells arising from different axial levels
Author: Lumb, R.
Buckberry, S.
Secker, G.
Lawrence, D.
Schwarz, Q.
Citation: BMC Developmental Biology, 2017; 17(1):5-1-5-12
Publisher: BioMed Central
Issue Date: 2017
ISSN: 1471-213X
Statement of
Rachael Lumb, Sam Buckberry, Genevieve Secker, David Lawrence and Quenten Schwarz
Abstract: Background: Cranial neural crest cells (NCCs) are a unique embryonic cell type which give rise to a diverse array of derivatives extending from neurons and glia through to bone and cartilage. Depending on their point of origin along the antero-posterior axis cranial NCCs are rapidly sorted into distinct migratory streams that give rise to axial specific structures. These migratory streams mirror the underlying segmentation of the brain with NCCs exiting the diencephalon and midbrain following distinct paths compared to those exiting the hindbrain rhombomeres (r). The genetic landscape of cranial NCCs arising at different axial levels remains unknown. Results: Here we have used RNA sequencing to uncover the transcriptional profiles of mouse cranial NCCs arising at different axial levels. Whole transcriptome analysis identified over 120 transcripts differentially expressed between NCCs arising anterior to r3 (referred to as r1-r2 migratory stream for simplicity) and the r4 migratory stream. Eight of the genes differentially expressed between these populations were validated by RT-PCR with 2 being further validated by in situ hybridisation. We also explored the expression of the Neuropilins (Nrp1 and Nrp2) and their co-receptors and show that the A-type Plexins are differentially expressed in different cranial NCC streams. Conclusions: Our analyses identify a large number of genes differentially regulated between cranial NCCs arising at different axial levels. This data provides a comprehensive description of the genetic landscape driving diversity of distinct cranial NCC streams and provides novel insight into the regulatory networks controlling the formation of specific skeletal elements and the mechanisms promoting migration along different paths.
Keywords: Mesencephalon
Neural Crest
Nerve Tissue Proteins
Gene Expression Profiling
Sequence Analysis, RNA
Cell Movement
Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
Gene Regulatory Networks
Rights: © The Author(s). 2017 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
DOI: 10.1186/s12861-017-0147-z
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