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Am J Med Genet. 2002 Dec 30;115(4):231-44.

Limb anomalies: Developmental and evolutionary aspects.

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Institute of Medical Genetics, Catholic University of Rome, Largo F. Vito 1, 00168 Rome, Italy.


In this review we describe the developmental mechanisms involved in the making of a limb, by focusing on the nature and types of interactions of the molecules that play a part in the regulation of limb patterning and characterizing clinical conditions that are known to result from the abnormal function of these molecules. The latter subject is divided into sections dealing with syndromal and nonsyndromal deficiencies, polydactylies, and brachydactylies. Conditions caused by mutations in homeobox genes and fibroblast growth factors and their receptor genes are listed separately. Since the process of limb development has been conserved for more than 300 millions years, with all the necessary adaptive modifications occurring throughout evolution, we also take into consideration the evolutionary aspects of limb development in terms of genetic repertoire, molecular pathways, and morphogenetic events.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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