1. Developmental Biology
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Bimodal function of chromatin remodeler Hmga1 in neural crest induction and Wnt-dependent emigration

  1. Shashank Gandhi  Is a corresponding author
  2. Erica J Hutchins
  3. Krystyna Maruszko
  4. Jong H Park
  5. Matthew Thomson
  6. Marianne E Bronner  Is a corresponding author
  1. California Institute of Technology, United States
Research Article
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Cite this article as: eLife 2020;9:e57779 doi: 10.7554/eLife.57779

Abstract

During gastrulation, neural crest cells are specified at the neural plate border, as characterized by Pax7 expression. Using single-cell RNA sequencing coupled with high resolution in situ hybridization to identify novel transcriptional regulators, we show that chromatin remodeler Hmga1 is highly expressed prior to specification and maintained in migrating chick neural crest cells. Temporally-controlled CRISPR-Cas9-mediated knockouts uncovered two distinct functions of Hmga1 in neural crest development. At the neural plate border, Hmga1 regulates Pax7-dependent neural crest lineage specification. At premigratory stages, a second role manifests where Hmga1 loss reduces cranial crest emigration from the dorsal neural tube independent of Pax7. Interestingly, this is rescued by stabilized ß-catenin, thus implicating Hmga1 as a canonical Wnt activator. Together, our results show that Hmga1 functions in a bimodal manner during neural crest development to regulate specification at the neural plate border, and subsequent emigration from the neural tube via canonical Wnt signaling.

Data availability

Sequencing data files have been deposited on NCBI under the accession number PRJNA624258.

The following data sets were generated

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Shashank Gandhi

    Division of Biology and Biological Engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, United States
    For correspondence
    shashank.gandhi@caltech.edu
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-4081-4338
  2. Erica J Hutchins

    Division of Biology and Biological Engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, United States
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-4316-0333
  3. Krystyna Maruszko

    Division of Biology and Biological Engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, United States
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  4. Jong H Park

    Division of Biology and Biological Engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, United States
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  5. Matthew Thomson

    Division of Biology and Biological Engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, United States
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  6. Marianne E Bronner

    Division of Biology and Biological Engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, United States
    For correspondence
    mbronner@caltech.edu
    Competing interests
    Marianne E Bronner, Senior editor, eLife.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0003-4274-1862

Funding

National Institutes of Health (R01DE027568)

  • Marianne E Bronner

National Institutes of Health (R01HL14058)

  • Marianne E Bronner

American Heart Association (18PRE34050063)

  • Shashank Gandhi

National Institutes of Health (K99DE028592)

  • Erica J Hutchins

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Lukas Sommer, University of Zurich, Switzerland

Publication history

  1. Received: April 24, 2020
  2. Accepted: September 23, 2020
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: September 23, 2020 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: October 27, 2020 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2020, Gandhi et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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Further reading

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    The epiblast of vertebrate embryos is comprised of neural and non-neural ectoderm, with the border territory at their intersection harboring neural crest and cranial placode progenitors. Here, we a generate single-cell atlas of the developing chick epiblast from late gastrulation through early neurulation stages to define transcriptional changes in the emerging ‘neural plate border’ as well as other regions of the epiblast. Focusing on the border territory, the results reveal gradual establishment of heterogeneous neural plate border signatures, including novel genes that we validate by fluorescent in situ hybridization. Developmental trajectory analysis infers that segregation of neural plate border lineages only commences at early neurulation, rather than at gastrulation as previously predicted. We find that cells expressing the prospective neural crest marker Pax7 contribute to multiple lineages, and a subset of premigratory neural crest cells shares a transcriptional signature with their border precursors. Together, our results suggest that cells at the neural plate border remain heterogeneous until early neurulation, at which time progenitors become progressively allocated toward defined neural crest and placode lineages. The data also can be mined to reveal changes throughout the developing epiblast.

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