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Developmental biology of melanocytes


Sommer, Lukas (2018). Developmental biology of melanocytes. In: Fisher, David E; Bastian, Boris C. Melanoma. New York, NY: Springer, Epub ahead of print.

Abstract

Apart from embryonic stem cells (ESCs) in the blastocyst, neural crest stem cells (NCSCs) in vertebrate embryos represent the stem cell population in our body with the broadest developmental potential, generating most of the neurons and glia of the peripheral nervous system (PNS) as well as various nonneural cell types, such as smooth muscle cells in the outflow tract of the heart, craniofacial bone, and cartilage and, in particular, melanocytes in the skin. It is assumed that a third of all congenital birth defects are due to failures in neural crest development, illustrating the significance of this stem cell population. Moreover, processes underlying melanocyte development appear to be recapitulated, at least partially, during formation of melanoma, the most aggressive skin tumor. For instance, it has recently been shown that an embryonic NCSC gene expression signature is reactivated upon tumor initiation in a zebrafish model of melanoma, suggesting a functional involvement of a NCSC program in tumors originating from neural crest derivatives. Thus, to gain insights into melanoma biology, it is important to understand the mechanisms regulating NCSC and melanocyte development, as outlined in this chapter.

Abstract

Apart from embryonic stem cells (ESCs) in the blastocyst, neural crest stem cells (NCSCs) in vertebrate embryos represent the stem cell population in our body with the broadest developmental potential, generating most of the neurons and glia of the peripheral nervous system (PNS) as well as various nonneural cell types, such as smooth muscle cells in the outflow tract of the heart, craniofacial bone, and cartilage and, in particular, melanocytes in the skin. It is assumed that a third of all congenital birth defects are due to failures in neural crest development, illustrating the significance of this stem cell population. Moreover, processes underlying melanocyte development appear to be recapitulated, at least partially, during formation of melanoma, the most aggressive skin tumor. For instance, it has recently been shown that an embryonic NCSC gene expression signature is reactivated upon tumor initiation in a zebrafish model of melanoma, suggesting a functional involvement of a NCSC program in tumors originating from neural crest derivatives. Thus, to gain insights into melanoma biology, it is important to understand the mechanisms regulating NCSC and melanocyte development, as outlined in this chapter.

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Item Type:Book Section, not_refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Anatomy
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:11 October 2018
Deposited On:19 Jan 2018 20:47
Last Modified:31 Mar 2018 05:12
Publisher:Springer
ISBN:978-1-4614-7322-0
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-7322-0_23-1
Related URLs:https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-7322-0 (Publisher)

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