Misexpression of BRE gene in the developing chick neural tube affects neurulation and somitogenesis

Guang Wang, Yan Li, Xiao-Yu Wang, Manli Chuai, John Yeuk-Hon Chan, Jian Lei, Andrea Münsterberg, Kenneth Ka Ho Lee, Xuesong Yang (Lead / Corresponding author)

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    12 Citations (Scopus)


    The brain and reproductive expression (BRE) gene is expressed in numerous adult tissues and especially in the nervous and reproductive systems. However, little is known about BRE expression in the developing embryo or about its role in embryonic development. In this study, we used in situ hybridization to reveal the spatiotemporal expression pattern for BRE in chick embryo during development. To determine the importance of BRE in neurogenesis, we overexpressed BRE and also silenced BRE expression specifically in the neural tube. We established that overexpressing BRE in the neural tube indirectly accelerated Pax7+ somite development and directly increased HNK-1+ neural crest cell (NCC) migration and TuJ-1+ neurite outgrowth. These altered morphogenetic processes were associated with changes in the cell cycle of NCCs and neural tube cells. The inverse effect was obtained when BRE expression was silenced in the neural tube. We also determined that BMP4 and Shh expression in the neural tube was affected by misexpression of BRE. This provides a possible mechanism for how altering BRE expression was able to affect somitogenesis, neurogenesis, and NCC migration. In summary, our results demonstrate that BRE plays an important role in regulating neurogenesis and indirectly somite differentiation during early chick embryo development.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)978-992
    Number of pages15
    JournalMolecular Biology of the Cell
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2015

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Molecular Biology
    • Cell Biology


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