"Zebrafish Cdx4 regulates neural crest cell specification and migratory behaviors in the posterior body"
For our September journal club, we read the recently published paper by Dr. Manuel Rocha from his PhD work in the Prince lab, “Zebrafish Cdx4 regulates neural crest cell specification and migratory behaviors in the posterior body”. This paper includes beautiful images from our favorite model organism and introduces a new gene, cdx4, involved in neural crest (NC) cell specification and segmental migration in the zebrafish trunk. The analyses include an array of techniques from in situ hybridization chain reaction, to single-plane illumination microscopy and some complex bioinformatics! Together, their studies demonstrate that cdx4 not only establishes migratory behaviors of NC cells in the trunk but that it also regulates posterior expression of foxd3 during early development. Further, their work uses cdx mutants and chimeras created via cell transplantation to dive deeper into how cdx4 expression affects trunk NC cell dynamics. Really cool developmental work and we highly recommend checking it out for yourself!