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J. Dev. Biol., Volume 2, Issue 3 (September 2014), Pages 158-197

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Review

Open AccessReview Retinoic Acid-Induced Epidermal Transdifferentiation in Skin
J. Dev. Biol. 2014, 2(3), 158-173; doi:10.3390/jdb2030158
Received: 12 March 2014 / Revised: 4 June 2014 / Accepted: 9 June 2014 / Published: 26 June 2014
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Abstract
Retinoids function as important regulatory signaling molecules during development, acting in cellular growth and differentiation both during embryogenesis and in the adult animal. In 1953, Fell and Mellanby first found that excess vitamin A can induce transdifferentiation of chick embryonic epidermis to [...] Read more.
Retinoids function as important regulatory signaling molecules during development, acting in cellular growth and differentiation both during embryogenesis and in the adult animal. In 1953, Fell and Mellanby first found that excess vitamin A can induce transdifferentiation of chick embryonic epidermis to a mucous epithelium (Fell, H.B.; Mellanby, E. Metaplasia produced in cultures of chick ectoderm by high vitamin A. J. Physiol. 1953, 119, 470–488). However, the molecular mechanism of this transdifferentiation process was unknown for a long time. Recent studies demonstrated that Gbx1, a divergent homeobox gene, is one of the target genes of all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) for this transdifferentiation. Furthermore, it was found that ATRA can induce the epidermal transdifferentiation into a mucosal epithelium in mammalian embryonic skin, as well as in chick embryonic skin. In the mammalian embryonic skin, the co-expression of Tgm2 and Gbx1 in the epidermis and an increase in TGF-β2 expression elicited by ATRA in the dermis are required for the mucosal transdifferentiation, which occurs through epithelial-mesenchymal interaction. Not only does retinoic acid (RA) play an important role in mucosal transdifferentiation, periderm desquamation, and barrier formation in the developing mammalian skin, but it is also involved in hair follicle downgrowth and bending by its effect on the Wnt/β-catenin pathway and on members of the Runx, Fox, and Sox transcription factor families. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Retinoids in Development)
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Open AccessReview Retinoic Acid Signaling during Early Spinal Cord Development
J. Dev. Biol. 2014, 2(3), 174-197; doi:10.3390/jdb2030174
Received: 9 April 2014 / Revised: 18 June 2014 / Accepted: 18 June 2014 / Published: 26 June 2014
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Abstract
Retinoic acid signaling is required at several steps during the development of the spinal cord, from the specification of generic properties to the final acquisition of neuronal subtype identities, including its role in trunk neural crest development. These functions are associated with [...] Read more.
Retinoic acid signaling is required at several steps during the development of the spinal cord, from the specification of generic properties to the final acquisition of neuronal subtype identities, including its role in trunk neural crest development. These functions are associated with the production of retinoic acid in specific tissues and are highly dependent on context. Here, we review the defects associated with retinoic acid signaling manipulations, mostly in chick and mouse models, trying to separate the different processes where retinoic acid signaling is involved and to highlight common features, such as its ability to promote transitions along the neuronal differentiation cascade. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Retinoids in Development)

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