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Nat Commun 2015 Jun 23;6:7476. doi: 10.1038/ncomms8476.
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Zic1 controls placode progenitor formation non-cell autonomously by regulating retinoic acid production and transport.

Jaurena MB , Juraver-Geslin H , Devotta A , Saint-Jeannet JP .

All cranial placode progenitors arise from a common precursor field anterior to the neural plate, the pre-placodal region (PPR). We showed that transcription factor Zic1, expressed at the anterior neural plate, is necessary and sufficient to promote placode fate. Here we reveal the non-cell autonomous activity of Zic1 and implicate retinoic acid (RA) signalling as a key player in cranial placode progenitor specification. In a screen for genes activated by Zic1, we identify several factors involved in RA metabolism and function. Among them we show that retinaldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (RALDH2) and lipocalin-type prostaglandin D2 synthase (LPGDS), which, respectively, regulate the synthesis and transport of RA, directly participate in the establishment of the PPR. We propose that RALDH2 and LPGDS induction by Zic1 at the anterior neural plate allows for the localized production and transport of RA, which in turn activates a cranial placode developmental programme in neighbouring cells.

PubMed ID: 26101153
PMC ID: PMC4479597
Article link: Nat Commun
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: aldh1a2 eya1 foxi4.1 hnf1b odc1 ptgds rab40b six1 zic1

GEO Series: GSE68546: NCBI

Article Images: [+] show captions
References [+] :
Ahrens, Tissues and signals involved in the induction of placodal Six1 expression in Xenopus laevis. 2005, Pubmed, Xenbase