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Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2000 Feb;10(1):63-71.

Vnd/nkx, ind/gsh, and msh/msx: conserved regulators of dorsoventral neural patterning?

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Institute of Neuroscience, Eugene, 97403, USA. cornell@uoneuro.


Expression of vnd in ventral, ind in intermediate, and msh in dorsal columns of fly neurectoderm, and of homologous gene families in corresponding domains of vertebrate neurectoderm, suggests that elements of dorsoventral neural patterning have been evolutionarily conserved. However, upstream signaling pathways regulating this columnar gene expression pattern appear to have diverged significantly throughout evolution. In addition, while recent loss-of-function studies in flies and mice indicate that these three genes may have a conserved role in regional specification, there is no obvious conservation of the particular cell fates deriving from corresponding domains. The three-column expression pattern may thus represent a developmental mechanism that is more resistant to evolutionary changes than genetic events upstream or downstream of it.

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