Phosphorylation of Sox9 is required for neural crest delamination and is regulated downstream of BMP and canonical Wnt signaling

Jessica A.J. Liu, Ming Hoi Wu, Carol H. Yan, Ka Hung Bolton Chau, Henry So, Alvis Ng, Alan Chan, Kathryn S.E. Cheah, James Briscoe, Martin Cheung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


Coordination of neural crest cell (NCC) induction and delamination is orchestrated by several transcription factors. Among these, Sry-related HMG box-9 (Sox9) and Snail2 have been implicated in both the induction of NCC identity and, together with phoshorylation, NCC delamination. How phosphorylation effects this function has not been clear. Here we show, in the developing chick neural tube, that phosphorylation of Sox9 on S64 and S181 facilitates its SUMOylation, and the phosphorylated forms of Sox9 are essential for trunk neural crest delamination. Both phosphorylation and to a lesser extent SUMOylation, of Sox9 are required to cooperate with Snail2 to promote delamination. Moreover, bone morphogenetic protein and canonical Wnt signaling induce phosphorylation of Sox9, thereby connecting extracellular signals with the delamination of NCCs. Together the data suggest a model in which extracellular signals initiate phosphorylation of Sox9 and its cooperation with Snail2 to induce NCC delamination.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2882-2887
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 19 Feb 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Basement membrane
  • In ovo electroporation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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