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Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2007 Aug;17(4):294-9. Epub 2007 Jul 12.

Pathways regulating apoptosis during patterning and development.

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  • 1Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The Rockefeller University, 1230 York Avenue, New York, NY 10021, USA.


The patterning and development of multicellular organisms require a precisely controlled balance between cell proliferation, differentiation and death. The regulation of apoptosis is an important aspect to achieve this balance, by eliminating unnecessary or mis-specified cells which, otherwise, may have harmful effects on the whole organism. Apoptosis is also important for the morphogenetic processes that occur during development and that lead to the sculpting of organs and other body structures. Here, we review recent progress in understanding how apoptosis is regulated during development, focusing on studies using Drosophila or Caenorhabditis elegans as model organisms.

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