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  • Prof.  Chaya Kalcheim
Prof Chaya Kalcheim
Research Interests
We investigate cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the development of the nervous and skeletal systems during embryonic development. Specifically, we seek to uncover the gene regulatory networks responsible for lineage segregation and specification of embryonic epithelia, such as the premigratory neural crest and the somite. In addition, we investigate cell migration and patterning of nascent structures such as ganglia and muscles and aim at understanding the relationship between specification and the control of subsequent cellular migrations.​
Recent Projects
  • The mechanism of delamination of neural crest progenitors from the dorsal neural tube.
  • Lineage specification of neural crest progenitors into neural and melanocyte derivatives.
  • The role of Foxd3 in fate descisions taken by neural crest progenitors.
  • The mechanisms underlying the termination of neural crest production.
  • The role of the orientation of cell divisions in fate segregation of dermomyotome progenitors.
  • A gene regulatory network underlying the segregation of muscle and vascular fates from the lateral dermomyotome.
  • The role of Sonic hedgehog in the transition from muscle differentiation into growth.
Lab Members
Nitza Kahane, Senior Scientist
Erez Nitzan, PhD student
Mordechai Applebaum, PhD student
Osnat Halperin-Barlev, PhD student
Rina Berger, Lab assistant
Recent Publications
Nitzan E, Pfaltzgraff ER, Labosky PA, Kalcheim C. Neural crest and Schwann cell progenitor-derived melanocytes are two spatially segregated populations similarly regulated by Foxd3. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Jul 30;110(31):12709-14. 
Shtukmaster S, Schier MC, Huber K, Krispin S, Kalcheim C, Unsicker K. Sympathetic neurons and chromaffin cells share a common progenitor in the neural crest in vivo. Neural Dev. 2013 Jun 18;8:12. 
Nitzan E, Krispin S, Pfaltzgraff ER, Klar A, Labosky PA, Kalcheim C. A dynamic code of dorsal neural tube genes regulates the segregation between neurogenic and melanogenic neural crest cells. Development. 2013 Jun;140(11):2269-79.
Kahane N, Ribes V, Kicheva A, Briscoe J, Kalcheim C. The transition from differentiation to growth during dermomyotome-derived myogenesis depends on temporally restricted hedgehog signaling. Development. 2013 Apr;140(8):1740-50.
Unsicker K, Huber K, Schober A, Kalcheim C. Resolved and open issues in chromaffin cell development. Mech Dev. 2013 Jun-Aug;130(6-8):324-9.
Nitzan E, Kalcheim C. Neural crest and somitic mesoderm as paradigms to investigate cell fate decisions during development. Dev Growth Differ. 2013 Jan;55(1):60-78.
Shoval I, Kalcheim C. Antagonistic activities of Rho and Rac GTPases underlie the transition from neural crest delamination to migration. Dev Dyn. 2012 Jul;241(7):1155-68.
Ben-Yair R, Kahane N, Kalcheim C. LGN-dependent orientation of cell divisions in the dermomyotome controls lineage segregation into muscle and dermis. Development. 2011 Oct;138(19):4155-66.
Kalcheim C. Regulation of trunk myogenesis by the neural crest: a new facet of neural crest-somite interactions. Dev Cell. 2011 Aug 16;21(2):187-8.
Halperin-Barlev O, Kalcheim C. Sclerotome-derived Slit1 drives directional migration and differentiation of Robo2-expressing pioneer myoblasts. Development.2011 Jul;138(14):2935-45. d
Ben-Yair R, Kalcheim C. Single cell transfection in chick embryos. J Vis Exp. 2010 Sep 25;(43).
Krispin S, Nitzan E, Kalcheim C. The dorsal neural tube: a dynamic setting for cell fate decisions. Dev Neurobiol. 2010 Oct;70(12):796-812.
Krispin S, Nitzan E, Kassem Y, Kalcheim C. Evidence for a dynamic spatiotemporal fate map and early fate restrictions of premigratory avian neural crest. Development. 2010 Feb;137(4):585-95.
Huber K, Kalcheim C, Unsicker K. The development of the chromaffin cell lineage from the neural crest. Auton Neurosci. 2009 Nov 17;151(1):10-6.
Huber K, Franke A, Brühl B, Krispin S, Ernsberger U, Schober A, von Bohlen und Halbach O, Rohrer H, Kalcheim C, Unsicker K. Persistent expression of BMP-4 in embryonic chick adrenal cortical cells and its role in chromaffin cell development. Neural Dev. 2008 Oct 22;3:28.
Groysman M, Shoval I, Kalcheim C. A negative modulatory role for rho and rho-associated kinase signaling in delamination of neural crest cells. Neural Dev. 2008 Oct 22;3:27.
Ben-Yair R, Kalcheim C. Notch and bone morphogenetic protein differentially act on dermomyotome cells to generate endothelium, smooth, and striated muscle. J Cell Biol.2008 Feb 11;180(3):607-18.
Kahane N, Ben-Yair R, Kalcheim C. Medial pioneer fibers pattern the morphogenesis of early myoblasts derived from the lateral somite. Dev Biol. 2007 May 15;305(2):439-50.
Shoval I, Ludwig A, Kalcheim C. Antagonistic roles of full-length N-cadherin and its soluble BMP cleavage product in neural crest delamination. Development. 2007 Feb;134(3):491-501.
Kalcheim C, Kahane N, Cinnamon Y, Ben-Yair R. Mechanisms of lineage segregation in the avian dermomyotome. Anat Embryol (Berl). 2006 Dec;211 Suppl 1:31-6.
Cinnamon Y, Ben-Yair R, Kalcheim C. Differential effects of N-cadherin-mediated adhesion on the development of myotomal waves. Development. 2006 Mar;133(6):1101-12.
Unsicker K, Huber K, Schütz G, Kalcheim C. The chromaffin cell and its development. Neurochem Res. 2005 Jun-Jul;30(6-7):921-5.
Gut P, Huber K, Lohr J, Brühl B, Oberle S, Treier M, Ernsberger U, Kalcheim C, Unsicker K. Lack of an adrenal cortex in Sf1 mutant mice is compatible with the generation and differentiation of chromaffin cells. Development. 2005 Oct;132(20):4611-9.
Kalcheim C, Ben-Yair R. Cell rearrangements during development of the somite and its derivatives. Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2005 Aug;15(4):371-80.
Kalcheim C, Burstyn-Cohen T. Early stages of neural crest ontogeny: formation and regulation of cell delamination. Int J Dev Biol. 2005;49(2-3):105-16.
Ben-Yair R, Kalcheim C. Lineage analysis of the avian dermomyotome sheet reveals the existence of single cells with both dermal and muscle progenitor fates. Development. 2005 Feb;132(4):689-701.
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