Marianne Bronner-Fraser

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Lancelets ('amphioxus') are the modern survivors of an ancient chordate lineage, with a fossil record dating back to the Cambrian period. Here we describe the structure and gene content of the highly polymorphic approximately 520-megabase genome of the Florida lancelet Branchiostoma floridae, and analyse it in the context of chordate evolution. Whole-genome(More)
Cranial sensory ganglia in vertebrates develop from the ectodermal placodes, the neural crest, or both. Although much is known about the neural crest contribution to cranial ganglia, relatively little is known about how placode cells form, invaginate and migrate to their targets. Here, we identify Pax-3 as a molecular marker for placode cells that(More)
BACKGROUND In the trunk of avian embryos, neural crest migration through the somites is segmental, with neural crest cells entering the rostral half of each somitic sclerotome but avoiding the caudal half. Little is known about the molecular nature of the cues-intrinsic to the somites-that are responsible for this segmental migration of neural crest cells.(More)
Pediatric brain tumors are significant causes of morbidity and mortality. It has been hypothesized that they derive from self-renewing multipotent neural stem cells. Here, we tested whether different pediatric brain tumors, including medulloblastomas and gliomas, contain cells with properties similar to neural stem cells. We find that tumor-derived(More)
The vertebrate neural crest arises at the border of the neural plate during early stages of nervous system development; however, little is known about the molecular mechanisms underlying neural crest formation. Here we identify a secreted protein, Noelin-1, which has the ability to prolong neural crest production. Noelin-1 messenger RNA is expressed in a(More)
The neural crest is a multipotent stem cell–like population that gives rise to a wide range of derivatives in the vertebrate embryo including elements of the craniofacial skeleton and peripheral nervous system as well as melanocytes. The neural crest forms in a series of regulatory steps that include induction and specification of the prospective(More)
Specification of neural crest progenitors begins during gastrulation at the neural plate border, long before migration or differentiation. Neural crest cell fate is acquired by progressive activation of discrete groups of transcription factors that appear to be highly conserved in vertebrates; however, comprehensive analysis of their expression has been(More)
Analysis of neural crest cell migration in the mouse has been difficult due to the lack of reliable cell markers. Recently, we found that injection of DiI into the chick neural tube marks premigratory neural crest cells whose endfeet are in contact with the lumen of the neural tube (Serbedzija et al. Development 106, 809-819 (1989)). In the present study,(More)
Neurogenesis in Xenopus neural ectoderm involves multiple gene families, including basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors, which initiate and control primary neurogenesis. Equally important, though less well understood, are the downstream effectors of the activity of these transcription factors. We have investigated the role of a candidate downstream(More)
The spatial and temporal aspects of cranial neural crest cell migration in the mouse are poorly understood because of technical limitations. No reliable cell markers are available and vital staining of embryos in culture has had limited success because they develop normally for only 24 hours. Here, we circumvent these problems by combining vital dye(More)