The cover article of the September/October issue of the journal WIREs Developmental Biology is a review by Assistant Professor of Biology Crystal Rogers and colleague Shuyi Nie, compiling current understanding of the role of neural crest cells in the development of the central nervous system and an array of other systems throughout the body. The article abstract provides a quick preview:
NC [neural crest] cells are important not only because they transform into a wide variety of tissue types, but also because their ability to detach from their epithelial neighbors and migrate throughout developing embryos utilizes mechanisms similar to those used by metastatic cancer cells. In this review, we discuss the mechanisms required for the induction and specification of NC cells in various vertebrate species, focusing on the roles of early morphogenesis, cell adhesion, signaling from adjacent tissues, and the massive transcriptional network that controls the formation of these amazing cells._
The full paper is Open Access on the journal website.
Featured image: The cover of WIREs Developmental Biology, featuring images of developing chicken embryos from Rogers and Nie (2018)