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Cell. 2003 Mar 21;112(6):745-9.

Membranes, trafficking, and signaling during animal development.

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National Institute for Medical Research, The Ridgeway Mill Hill, London NW71AA, United Kingdom.


Molecular genetics has been key in allowing developmental biologists to uncover many of the molecules that participate in pattern formation. Cell biology is now beginning to help developmental biologists in their quest to understand how these molecules interact within cells to direct tissue behavior. This is particularly true in the areas of membrane trafficking and cell motility. Recent work has shown that various trafficking events such as secretion, endocytosis, segregation in membrane microdomains, intracellular transport, and targeting to lysosomes regulate various signaling pathways. It is likely that within the context of an embryo, these trafficking events are integrated such that secreted factors reliably orchestrate many developmental decisions.

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