A gene regulatory network for neural induction

Katherine E. Trevers, Hui Chun Lu, Youwen Yang, Alexandre P. Thiery, Anna C. Strobl, Claire Anderson, Božena Pálinkášová, Nidia M.M. de Oliveira, Irene M. de Almeida, Mohsin A.F. Khan, Natalia Moncaut, Nicholas M. Luscombe, Leslie Dale, Andrea Streit, Claudio D. Stern*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


During early vertebrate development, signals from a special region of the embryo, the organizer, can redirect the fate of non-neural ectoderm cells to form a complete, patterned nervous system. This is called neural induction and has generally been imagined as a single signalling event, causing a switch of fate. Here, we undertake a comprehensive analysis, in very fine time course, of the events following exposure of competent ectoderm of the chick to the organizer (the tip of the primitive streak, Hensen’s node). Using transcriptomics and epigenomics we generate a gene regulatory network comprising 175 transcriptional regulators and 5614 predicted interactions between them, with fine temporal dynamics from initial exposure to the signals to expression of mature neural plate markers. Using in situ hybridization, single-cell RNA-sequencing, and reporter assays, we show that the gene regulatory hierarchy of responses to a grafted organizer closely resembles the events of normal neural plate development. The study is accompanied by an extensive resource, including information about conservation of the predicted enhancers in other vertebrates.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere73189
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023


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