Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Tissue interactions & molecular pathways in specification of the ectomesenchyme from cranial neural crest
by Das, Ankita, Ph.D., University of Southern California, 2012, 131; 3513745
Abstract (Summary)

Vertebrate cranial neural crest cells (CNCCs) contribute not only to ectodermal lineages like neurons, glia and pigment but also to "ectomesenchymal" lineages like cartilage and bone. Whereas studies have established that in zebrafish the CNCCs are lineage restricted at the neural tube, the molecular bases for regulation of the cell lineage remains unknown. In this thesis work, I will discuss my studies on the role of Bmp signaling from the ectoderm in restricting the ectomesenchyme potential of the CNCC. I will provide evidence for functions of Id2a and Twist1 proteins in specification of the ectomesenchyme. We show that although twist1 genes are expressed in the CNCC starting at pre-migratory stages, presence of Id2a in these cells prevents Twist1 from functioning, and that a loss of Id2a in the migratory CNCCs over time in development facilitates specification of the ectomesenchyme lineage. Furthermore I will discuss a detailed characterization of the roles of Twist1 in specification of the ectomesenchyme lineage in zebrafish. We propose that Twist1 functions as a master-regulator in specification of the ectomesenchyme lineage via regulating induction of early ectomesenchyme genes and repressing the non-ectomesenchyme.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Crump, Gage
Commitee: Lien, Ellen, Lu, Wange, Maxson, Robert, Sucov, Henry M.
School: University of Southern California
Department: Genetic, Molecular, and Cell Biology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 73/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Neurosciences, Genetics
Keywords: Ectomesenchyme, Neural crest cells
Publication Number: 3513745
ISBN: 978-1-267-44289-5
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