ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-210321-4
The alx3 gene shapes the zebrafish neurocranium by regulating frontonasal neural crest cell differentiation timing
Mitchell, J.M., Sucharov, J., Pulvino, A.T., Brooks, E.P., Gillen, A.E., Nichols, J.T.
Date: 2021
Source: Development (Cambridge, England)   148(7): (Journal)
Registered Authors: Brooks, Elliott, Nichols, James Tucker
Keywords: Bone, Cartilage, Craniofacial skeleton, Differentiation, Neural crest cells, Neurocranium, Zebrafish, alx, scRNA-seq
Microarrays: GEO:GSE163826
MeSH Terms:
  • Animals
  • Cartilage/metabolism
  • Cell Differentiation/genetics*
  • Cell Differentiation/physiology
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Head
  • Homeodomain Proteins/genetics*
  • Homeodomain Proteins/metabolism*
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Morphogenesis
  • Neural Crest/cytology
  • Neural Crest/metabolism*
  • Organogenesis
  • Skull/metabolism
  • Transcription Factors/genetics
  • Transcriptome
  • Zebrafish/embryology
  • Zebrafish/genetics*
  • Zebrafish/metabolism*
  • Zebrafish Proteins/genetics*
  • Zebrafish Proteins/metabolism*
PubMed: 33741714 Full text @ Development
During craniofacial development, different populations of cartilage and bone forming cells develop in precise locations in the head. Most of these cells are derived from pluripotent cranial neural crest cells and differentiate with distinct developmental timing and cellular morphologies. The mechanisms that divide neural crest cells into discrete populations are not fully understood. Here we use single-cell RNA sequencing to transcriptomically define different populations of cranial neural crest cells. We discovered that the transcription factor encoding alx gene family is enriched in the frontonasal population of neural crest cells. Genetic mutant analyses indicate that alx3 functions to regulate the distinct differentiation timing and cellular morphologies among frontonasal neural crest cell subpopulations. This study furthers our understanding of how genes controlling developmental timing shape craniofacial skeletal elements.