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Dev Dyn. 2000 May;218(1):68-79.

Regulation and execution of apoptosis during Drosophila development.

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  • 1Cutaneous Biology Research Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Charlestown 02129, USA.


The development of the Drosophila embryo into an adult fly is a process that integrates cell proliferation and differentiation with programmed cell death, or apoptosis. Apoptosis is an evolutionarily conserved process that is controlled in the developing fly by the products of the genes reaper, grim, and hid. We discuss the role of programmed cell death in the establishment and maintenance of correct patterning in the embryo, and examine the coordination of apoptosis with the hormonally controlled degeneration of larval tissues during metamorphosis. Finally, we address the architecture of the adult eye as an example of how programmed cell death plays a key role in the development of many adult structures.

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