Expression of a novel secreted factor, Seraf indicates an early segregation of Schwann cell precursors from neural crest during avian development

Yoshio Wakamatsu, Noriko Osumi, James A. Weston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The neural crest gives rise to glial cells in the peripheral nervous system. Among the peripheral glia, Schwann cells form the myelin often wrapping the peripheral axons. Compared to other crest-derived cell lineages such as neurons, the analysis of fate determination and subsequent differentiation of Schwann cells is not well advanced, partly due to the lack of early markers of this phenotype. In this study, we have identified a gene, uniquely expressed in avian embryo Schwann cell precursors, which encodes a novel secreted factor, designated Seraf (Schwann cell-specific EGF-like repeat autocrine factor). Expression of Seraf and P0 delineates the earliest phase of Schwann cell differentiation. Seraf binds to neural crest cells and Schwann cells, and affects the distribution of Schwann cells, when introduced to chicken embryos during neural crest migration. Our results suggest an autocrine function of Seraf and provide a significant step to understand the developmental processes of Schwann cell lineage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-173
Number of pages12
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Volume268
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Apr 1

Keywords

  • EGF
  • Neural crest
  • Peripheral nervous system
  • Schwann cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

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