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Dev Cell. 2011 Jul 19;21(1):145-58. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2011.06.001.

Extracellular movement of signaling molecules.

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  • 1Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard Stem Cell Institute, Broad Institute, Center for Brain Science, FAS Center for Systems Biology, Harvard University, 16 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.


Extracellular signaling molecules have crucial roles in development and homeostasis, and their incorrect deployment can lead to developmental defects and disease states. Signaling molecules are released from sending cells, travel to target cells, and act over length scales of several orders of magnitude, from morphogen-mediated patterning of small developmental fields to hormonal signaling throughout the organism. We discuss how signals are modified and assembled for transport, which routes they take to reach their targets, and how their range is affected by mobility and stability.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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