Neural crest cells are multipotent progenitors that migrate extensively and differentiate into numerous derivatives. The developmental plasticity and migratory ability of neural crest cells render them an attractive model for studying numerous aspects of cell progression. We observed that zebrafish rgs2 was expressed in neural crest cells. Disrupting Rgs2 expression by using a dominant negative rgs2 construct or rgs2 morpholinos reduced GTPase-activating protein activity, induced the formation of neural crest progenitors, increased the proliferation of nonectomesenchymal neural crest cells, and inhibited the formation of ectomesenchymal neural crest derivatives. The transcription of pparda (which encodes Pparδ, a Wnt-activated transcription factor) was upregulated in Rgs2-deficient embryos, and Pparδ inhibition using a selective antagonist in the Rgs2-deficient embryos repaired neural crest defects. Our results clarify the mechanism through which the Rgs2-Pparδ cascade regulates neural crest development; specifically, Pparδ directly binds to the promoter and upregulates the transcription of the neural crest specifier sox10. This study reveals a unique regulatory mechanism, the Rgs2-Pparδ-Sox10 signaling cascade, and defines a key molecular regulator, Rgs2, in neural crest development.
- Journal Article