The development of the mammalian neural crest and of the tissues derived from it requires the transcription factor Pax3. This protein, which is expressed in the dorsal tube and by pre-migratory neural crest cells, is one of the earliest markers of neural crest induction. On p. 829, Milewski et al. investigate how Pax3 expression is activated in neural crest precursors. They identify an enhancer region involved in regulating the expression of Pax3 in neural crest precursors, and go on to describe two neural crest enhancers within this upstream region that together direct expression of a reporter gene in the dorsal neural tube in vivo. The researchers demonstrate that Tead2, which contains a conserved DNA-binding sequence known as the TEA domain, binds to one of the Pax3 neural crest enhancers and, together with its co-activator YAP65, is able to activate Pax3 expression.