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Patterning of neural crest (NC) for the formation of specific structures along the anterio-posterior (A-P) body axis is governed by a combinatorial action of Hox genes, which are expressed in the neuroepithelium at the time of NC induction. Hoxb5 was expressed in NC at both induction and migratory stages, and our previous data suggested that Hoxb5 played a role in the NC development. However, the underlying mechanisms by which Hoxb5 regulates the early NC development are largely unknown. Current study showed that both the human and mouse Foxd3 promoters were bound and trans-activated by Hoxb5 in NC-derived neuroblastoma cells. The binding of Hoxb5 to Foxd3 promoter in vivo was further confirmed in the brain and neural tube of mouse embryos. Moreover, Wnt1-Cre mediated perturbation of Hoxb5 signaling at the dorsal neural tube in mouse embryos resulted in Foxd3 down-regulation. In ovo, Foxd3 alleviated the apoptosis of neural cells induced by perturbed Hoxb5 signaling, and Hoxb5 induced ectopic Foxd3 expression in the chick neural tube. This study demonstrated that Hoxb5 (an A-P patterning gene) regulated the NC development by directly inducing Foxd3 (a NC specifier and survival gene). Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Mandy Ka Man Kam, Martin Cheung, Joe Jiang Zhu, William Wai Chun Cheng, Eric Wai Yin Sat, Paul Kwong Hang Tam, Vincent Chi Hang Lui. Homeobox b5 (Hoxb5) regulates the expression of Forkhead box D3 gene (Foxd3) in neural crest. The international journal of biochemistry & cell biology. 2014 Oct;55:144-52

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PMID: 25220476

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