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)
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 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)
The monoclonal antibody HNK-1 was used to identify neural crest cells in serial sections of avian embryos to provide a detailed description of the distribution of trunk neural crest cells. The results indicate the presence of three migratory routes in the trunk: (1) a ventral pathway through the anterior sclerotome; (2) a ventral pathway between the neural(More)
The neural crest is a multipotent, migratory cell population that is unique to vertebrate embryos and gives rise to many derivatives, ranging from the peripheral nervous system to the craniofacial skeleton and pigment cells. A multimodule gene regulatory network mediates the complex process of neural crest formation, which involves the early induction and(More)
The events that convert adherent epithelial cells into individual migratory cells that can invade the extracellular matrix are known collectively as epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Throughout evolution, the capacity of cells to switch between these two cellular states has been fundamental in the generation of complex body patterns. Here, we review(More)
Shortly after their formation, somites of vertebrate embryos differentiate along the dorsoventral axis into sclerotome, myotome and dermomyotome. The dermomyotome is then patterned along its mediolateral axis into medial, central and lateral compartments, which contain progenitors of epaxial muscle, dermis and hypaxial muscle, respectively. Here, we used(More)
We have investigated the molecular interactions underlying neural crest formation in Xenopus. Using chordin overexpression to antagonize endogenous BMP signaling in whole embryos and explants, we demonstrate that such inhibition alone is insufficient to account for neural crest induction in vivo. We find, however, that chordin-induced neural plate tissue(More)
The neural crest is a stem population critical for development of the vertebrate craniofacial skeleton and peripheral ganglia. Neural crest cells originate along the border between the neural plate and epidermis, migrate extensively and generate numerous derivatives, including neurons and glia of the peripheral nervous system, melanocytes, bone and(More)
In this review, we outline the gene-regulatory interactions driving neural crest development and compare these to a hypothetical network operating in the embryonic ectoderm of the cephalochordate amphioxus. While the early stages of ectodermal patterning appear conserved between amphioxus and vertebrates, later activation of neural crest-specific factors at(More)