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Bioessays. 2003 Oct;25(10):921-5.

Cell diversity in the retina: more than meets the eye.

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  • 1New York University, New York NY 10003, USA.


Over 10 years ago, Pax-6 was shown to play an evolutionarily conserved role in controlling eye formation from Drosophila to humans.1 Since then, the identification of an entire cascade of conserved eye determination genes has brought a new understanding to the developmental relationship between the insect compound eye and the vertebrate camera eye.2 Additional studies are now beginning to suggest that even late aspects of eye development, including cell type specification, also share common molecular machinery. In this commentary, I will discuss some of these findings, with a particular focus on the recent study by Dyer et al.3 describing a novel role for the Prox1 transcription factor in specifying horizontal cells in the mouse retina. As Prospero, the Drosophila homolog of Prox1, also participates in retinal cell specification, these data provide a forum for asking new questions concerning pathways that may regulate retinogenesis across evolution.

Copyright 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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