In early vertebrate development, the neural crest is specified in the embryonic ectoderm at the boundary of the neural plate and the nonneural ectoderm. After the induction, the neural crest cells undergo epithelial-mesenchymal transition, delaminating from the epithelium, and migrate extensively in the embryonic environment to give rise to a wide variety of tissues and cell types. In this review, we try to summarize the recent progress in understanding the molecular nature of the inductive signals and transcription factors involved in neural crest formation and following steps of the neural crest development. We also point out the underlying problems that need to be solved to understand the process further.
- Bone morphogenetic protein
- Epithelial-mesenchymal transition
- Neural crest