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Nat Rev Genet. 2002 Feb;3(2):103-13.

Establishment of vertebrate left-right asymmetry.

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  • 1Division of Molecular Biology, Institute for Molecular and Cellular Biology, Osaka University, and CREST, Japan. hamada@imcb.osaka-u.ac.jp


The generation of morphological, such as left-right, asymmetry during development is an integral part of the establishment of a body plan. Until recently, the molecular basis of left-right asymmetry was a mystery, but studies indicate that Nodal and the Lefty proteins, transforming growth factor-beta-related molecules, have a central role in generating asymmetric signals. Although the initial mechanism of symmetry breaking remains unknown, developmental biologists are beginning to analyse the pathway that leads to left-right asymmetry establishment and maintenance.

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