Structural Biochemistry/Neural Induction
Neural Induction refers to the process that induces a region of embryonic ectoderm to form the neural plate on the dorsal surface of the embryo. Neural induction goes through several stages such as neurulation and neural patterning.
During the early stages of the embryonic development, newly formed neural plate forms the neural groove, which then forms the neural tube that eventually develops in to the central nervous system. There are numerous enzymes, hormones and proteins that initiates this formation of neural tissue. But the main protein that contributes the most is the Spemmann's organizer. The ectoderm cells are naturally predisposed to become neural tissues. But the ectoderm cells produces BMPS (TGF-β family protein), which causes it to become epidermal (nonneural). However once the Spemann's Organizer molecules produces neural inducers such as follistatin,noggin, and chordin to block the effects of BMPs, ectoderm can be induced to become the neural tissue. Missing such inducers cause many birth defects during the early pregnancy such as spinal bifida and anencephaly. *BMPs are bone morphogenic protens that are members of polypeptide growth factor and transforming growth factor familes.
Purves, Dale, "Principles of Cognitive Neuroscience", Sinauer Associates, Inc., 2008