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Cranial placodes are thickenings of the embryonic head ectoderm that contribute to the paired sense organs and to the cephalic peripheral nervous system. Here we report the spatiotemporal expression pattern of transcription factor Pitx2c during Xenopus laevis cranial placode formation, focusing more specifically on key stages of trigeminal and profundal placode development. We also compare its expression to five genes that have been associated with development of these sensory placodes, namely Foxi1c, Islet1, NeuroD, Pax3, and Six1. We show that while initially expressed in both the trigeminal and profundal placodes, Pitx2c is later restricted to the prospective profundal ganglion, where it is co-expressed with Islet1, NeuroD and Pax3. This combination of factors defines a molecular signature for the characterization of the profundal versus trigeminal ganglia in Xenopus.


Yeon-Ho Jeong, Byung-Keon Park, Jean-Pierre Saint-Jeannet, Young-Hoon Lee. Developmental expression of Pitx2c in Xenopus trigeminal and profundal placodes. The International journal of developmental biology. 2014;58(9):701-4

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PMID: 25896206

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