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Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2003 Aug;15(4):474-81.

Modulation of developmental signals by endocytosis: different means and many ends.

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National Institute for Medical Research, The Ridgeway, Mill Hill, London NW7 1AA, UK.


Recent advances have highlighted the importance of endocytic processes in regulating the activity and distribution of developmental signals. Classically, signalling is downregulated by endocytosis and subsequent trafficking to lysosomes (e.g. Notch, Hedgehog, Roundabout). However, endocytosis can also have a positive role in signalling. For example, endocytosis of Delta, the ligand of Notch, is needed for activation of the signal. In the case of signalling by Hedgehog, endocytic trafficking segregates an inhibitory receptor (Patched) from the positive effector (Smoothened). Endosomes could also be the site where signalling is activated (e.g. transforming growth factor beta). Finally, endocytosis could power the transport of morphogens along epithelia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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