Noriaki Sasai

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The secreted ligand Sonic Hedgehog (Shh) organizes the pattern of cellular differentiation in the ventral neural tube. For the five neuronal subtypes, increasing levels and durations of Shh signaling direct progenitors to progressively more ventral identities. Here we demonstrate that this mode of action is not applicable to the generation of the most(More)
A number of regulatory genes have been implicated in neural crest development. However, the molecular mechanism of how neural crest determination is initiated in the exact ectodermal location still remains elusive. Here, we show that the cooperative function of Pax3 and Zic1 determines the neural crest fate in the amphibian ectoderm. Pax3 and Zic1 are(More)
We report directed differentiaion of retinal precursors in vitro from mouse ES cells. Six3+ rostral brain progenitors are generated by culturing ES cells under serum-free suspension conditions (SFEB culture) in the presence of Wnt and Nodal antagonists (Dkk1 and LeftyA), and subsequently steered to differentiate into Rx+ cells (16%) by treatment with(More)
Morphogens are secreted signalling molecules that act in a graded manner to control the pattern of cellular differentiation in developing tissues. An example is Sonic hedgehog (Shh), which acts in several developing vertebrate tissues, including the central nervous system, to provide positional information during embryonic patterning. Here we address how(More)
Secreted signals, known as morphogens, provide the positional information that organizes gene expression and cellular differentiation in many developing tissues. In the vertebrate neural tube, Sonic Hedgehog (Shh) acts as a morphogen to control the pattern of neuronal subtype specification. Using an in vivo reporter of Shh signaling, mouse genetics, and(More)
The neural fate is generally considered to be the intrinsic direction of embryonic stem (ES) cell differentiation. However, little is known about the intracellular mechanism that leads undifferentiated cells to adopt the neural fate in the absence of extrinsic inductive signals. Here we show that the zinc-finger nuclear protein Zfp521 is essential and(More)
Here we show that XsalF, a frog homolog of the Drosophila homeotic selector spalt, plays an essential role for the forebrain/midbrain determination in Xenopus. XsalF overexpression expands the domain of forebrain/midbrain genes and suppresses midbrain/hindbrain boundary (MHB) markers and anterior hindbrain genes. Loss-of-function studies show that XsalF is(More)
A relatively small number of signals are responsible for the variety and pattern of cell types generated in developing embryos. In part this is achieved by exploiting differences in the concentration or duration of signaling to increase cellular diversity. In addition, however, changes in cellular competence-temporal shifts in the response of cells to a(More)
We have isolated a novel secreted dorsalizing factor of the neural tube, Xenopus Tiarin, which belongs to the olfactomedin-related family. Tiarin expression starts at the late gastrula stage in the nonneural ectoderm adjacent to the anterior neural plate. Overexpression of Tiarin in the embryo causes expansion of dorsal neural markers and suppression of(More)
Although Rho-GTPases are well-known regulators of cytoskeletal reorganization, their in vivo distribution and physiological functions have remained elusive. In this study, we found marked apical accumulation of Rho in developing chick embryos undergoing folding of the neural plate during neural tube formation, with similar accumulation of activated myosin(More)