The role of twist during palate development. Academic Article uri icon


  • In palatogenesis, the MEE (Medial Edge Epithelium) cells disappear when palates fuse. We hypothesize that the MEE cells undergo EMT (Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition) to achieve mesenchyme confluence. Twist has an important role in EMT for tumor metastasis. The purpose of this study was to analyze Twist function during palatal fusion. Twist protein was expressed in palatal shelves and MEE both in vivo and in vitro just prior to fusion. Twist mRNA increased in chicken palates 3 and 6 hr after TGFbeta3 treatment. Palatal fusion was decreased when cultured palatal shelves were treated with 200 nM Twist siRNA and the subcellular localization of beta-catenin was altered. Twist mRNA decreased in palatal shelves treated with TGFbeta3 neutralizing antibody or LY294002, a specific phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase (PI-3K) inhibitor. In summary, Twist is downstream of TGFbeta3 and PI-3K pathways during palatal fusion. However, decreasing Twist with siRNA did not completely block palate fusion, indicating that the function of Twist may be duplicated by other transcription factors.

published proceedings

  • Dev Dyn

author list (cited authors)

  • Yu, W., Kamara, H., & Svoboda, K.

citation count

  • 45

complete list of authors

  • Yu, Wenli||Kamara, Harold||Svoboda, Kathy KH

publication date

  • October 2008