NOTCH signaling plays a key role in cell fate determination in both vertebrates and invertebrates. It is well known that Su(H)/RBP-J is a major mediator of NOTCH signaling. In a previous study, it was shown that NOTCH signaling was involved in cranial neural crest formation in avian embryos. However, Su(H)/RBP-J activity did not appear to be required in this process. In this study, the Deltex/Dtx gene was focussed on as a potential mediator of NOTCH signaling in neural crest formation. At the time of neural crest formation, quail Deltex2 was expressed throughout the ectoderm. Misexpression of a dominant-negative form of Deltex in the ectoderm caused reduced expression of Slug, a neural crest marker. Dominant-negative Deltex expression reduced the expression of Bmp4, a neural crest inducer, whereas co-transfection of Bmp4 with dominant-negative Deltex rescued Slug expression. In parallel, Hairy2 expression in the epidermis was regulated by a Su(H)-dependent pathway. These results indicate that NOTCH signaling has dual functions mediated by either Su(H)or Deltex in the avian embryonic ectoderm.
- Neural crest