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Nat Cell Biol 2024 Mar 18; doi: 10.1038/s41556-024-01378-y.
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Competence for neural crest induction is controlled by hydrostatic pressure through Yap.

Alasaadi DN , Alvizi L , Hartmann J , Stillman N , Moghe P , Hiiragi T , Mayor R .

Embryonic induction is a key mechanism in development that corresponds to an interaction between a signalling and a responding tissue, causing a change in the direction of differentiation by the responding tissue. Considerable progress has been achieved in identifying inductive signals, yet how tissues control their responsiveness to these signals, known as competence, remains poorly understood. While the role of molecular signals in competence has been studied, how tissue mechanics influence competence remains unexplored. Here we investigate the role of hydrostatic pressure in controlling competence in neural crest cells, an embryonic cell population. We show that neural crest competence decreases concomitantly with an increase in the hydrostatic pressure of the blastocoel, an embryonic cavity in contact with the prospective neural crest. By manipulating hydrostatic pressure in vivo, we show that this increase leads to the inhibition of Yap signalling and impairs Wnt activation in the responding tissue, which would be required for neural crest induction. We further show that hydrostatic pressure controls neural crest induction in amphibian and mouse embryos and in human cells, suggesting a conserved mechanism across vertebrates. Our work sets out how tissue mechanics can interplay with signalling pathways to regulate embryonic competence.

PubMed ID: 38499770
PMC ID: PMC11021196
Article link: Nat Cell Biol
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: bmp4 ctnnb1 foxd3 klf6 lef1 pax3 pcyt1a snai2 sox10 sox8 sox9 tbxt wnt8a yap1
GO keywords: neural crest cell development [+]
Morpholinos: yap1 MO3

Phenotypes: Xla Wt + Inflation (Fig. 2 de) [+]

Article Images: [+] show captions