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Semin Cell Dev Biol. 1997 Jun;8(3):239-247.

Intercellular signals and cell-fate choices in the developing inner ear: origins of global and of fine-grained pattern.

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Vertebrate Development Laboratory, Imperial Cancer Research Fund, 44 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London, WC2A 3PX, UK


The major regions of the inner ear begin to be distinguishable by their patterns of gene expression very early, before the otocyst has closed. Later, individual cells within a neurogenic or sensory patch become committed to specific pathways of differentiation. Insights gained from homologies with invertebrates and from studies of tissues other than the ear, combined with discoveries from screens for mutations affecting development in the zebrafish, are beginning to reveal the genes and signalling mechanisms that control these cell-fate choices in the developing inner ear.


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