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Trends Cell Biol. 2004 Nov;14(11):620-7.

Gastrulation dynamics: cells move into focus.

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Max-Planck-Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Pfotenhauerstrasse 108, 01307 Dresden, Germany.


During vertebrate gastrulation, a relatively limited number of blastodermal cells undergoes a stereotypical set of cellular movements that leads to formation of the three germ layers: ectoderm, mesoderm and endoderm. Gastrulation, therefore, provides a unique developmental system in which to study cell movements in vivo in a fairly simple cellular context. Recent advances have been made in elucidating the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie cell movements during zebrafish gastrulation. These findings can be compared with observations made in other model systems to identify potential general mechanisms of cell migration during development.

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