The Neural Crest

The Taneyhill lab studies the vertebrate neural crest, a transient population of migratory cells that ultimately differentiate to become a wide range of structures, including the peripheral nervous system, pigment cells (melanocytes), and the bones and cartilage of the face and neck. Consequently, many human congenital and hereditary malformations (craniofacial abnormalities, heart defects), diseases (Hirschprung) and cancers result from aberrant neural crest development. Neural crest cells detach from the neural tube and migrate away into the periphery by undergoing an epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) characterized by the loss of various epithelial properties (for example, cell-cell adhesion) and the subsequent acquisition of a mesenchymal (motile) phenotype, an event molecularly similar to EMTs observed in metastatic or invasive cancers when cells leave the primary tumor site. 

 

   In ovo    electroporation of morpholino antisense-oligonucleotides (MOs) into the neural tube targets a specific mRNA in the premigratory neural crest of the chick midbrain. MOs are employed in order to knock-down/inhibit translation of the mRNA of interest. MOs are labeled with a fluorophore (here lissamine, red) to allow for visualization with a fluorescence microscope.

In ovo electroporation of morpholino antisense-oligonucleotides (MOs) into the neural tube targets a specific mRNA in the premigratory neural crest of the chick midbrain. MOs are employed in order to knock-down/inhibit translation of the mRNA of interest. MOs are labeled with a fluorophore (here lissamine, red) to allow for visualization with a fluorescence microscope.