Transcription factor c-Myb is involved in the regulation of the epithelial-mesenchymal transition in the avian neural crest
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- Karafiat†, V., Dvorakova†, M., Krejci, E. et al. Cell. Mol. Life Sci. (2005) 62: 2516. doi:10.1007/s00018-005-5297-7
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Multipotential neural crest cells (NCCs) originate by an epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) during vertebrate embryogenesis. We show for the first time that the key hematopoietic factor c-Myb is synthesized in early chick embryos including the neural tissue and participates in the regulation of the trunk NCCs. A reduction of endogenous c-Myb protein both in tissue explants in vitro and in embryos in ovo, prevented the formation of migratory NCCs. A moderate over-expression of c-myb in naive intermediate neural plates triggered the EMT and NCC migration probably through cooperation with BMP4 signaling because (i) BMP4 activated c-myb expression, (ii) elevated c-Myb caused accumulation of transcripts of the BMP4 target genes msx1 and slug, and (iii) the reduction of c-Myb prevented the BMP4-induced formation of NCCs. The data show that in chicken embryos, the c-myb gene is expressed prior to the onset of hematopoiesis and participates in the formation and migration of the trunk neural crest.