- A systems-level approach reveals new gene regulatory modules in the developing ear
Summary: Transcriptome analysis and knock down of select transcription factors reveals a genetic hierarchy as cells become committed to inner ear fate.
- The assembly of developing motor neurons depends on an interplay between spontaneous activity, type II cadherins and gap junctions
- Intrinsic properties of limb bud cells can be differentially reset
Summary: Grafting experiments in chick wing buds show that autopod fate is intrinsically defined, while early but not late autopod cells can adopt host proliferation rates when transplanted into the zeugopod.
- TGFβ and FGF promote tendon progenitor fate and act downstream of muscle contraction to regulate tendon differentiation during chick limb development
Summary: During chick limb development, FGF and TGFβ act independently of each other and downstream of mechanical forces to control tendon formation.
- Identification of STAM1 as a novel effector of ventral projection of spinal motor neurons
Summary: The spinal motor neuron-specifying LIM complex controls ventral motor axonal projection by activating the expression of STAM1, which in turn regulates the chemokine receptor CXCR4.
- Disruption of CXCR4 signaling in pharyngeal neural crest cells causes DiGeorge syndrome-like malformations
Summary: SDF1/CXCR4 signaling lies downstream of Tbx1 during pharyngeal neural crest development, and inactivating CXCR4 causes defects that phenocopy the human DiGeorge syndrome.
- Formin 2 regulates the stabilization of filopodial tip adhesions in growth cones and affects neuronal outgrowth and pathfinding in vivo
Highlighted article: Formin 2 regulates filopodial dynamics required for efficient translocation of neuronal growth cones, while depletion of formin 2 in vivo results in aberrant axonal tracts in the spinal cord.
- Sonic hedgehog controls enteric nervous system development by patterning the extracellular matrix
Highlighted article: Gut epithelium-derived sonic hedgehog acts indirectly on the developing chick enteric nervous system by regulating the composition of the intestinal microenvironment.
- A conserved role for Notch signaling in priming the cellular response to Shh through ciliary localisation of the key Shh transducer Smo
Highlighted article: Shh signalling controls dorso-ventral cell fate in the neural tube. Notch regulates ciliary architecture and localisation of key Shh pathway components, thus sensitising cells to Shh.
- Neural retina identity is specified by lens-derived BMP signals
SUMMARY: BMP signals from the lens are crucial to maintain eye-field character, inhibit dorsal telencephalic cell identity, and specificy neural retina cells in chick embryos.