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Dev Biol. 2006 May 15;293(2):285-93. Epub 2006 Mar 20.

The vertebrate spalt genes in development and disease.

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School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK.


The spalt proteins are encoded by a family of evolutionarily conserved genes found in species as diverse as Drosophila, C. elegans and vertebrates. In humans, mutations in some of these genes are associated with several congenital disorders which underscores the importance of spalt gene function in embryonic development. Recent studies have begun to cast light on the functions of this family of proteins with increasing understanding of the developmental processes regulated and the molecular mechanisms used. Here we review what is currently known about the role of spalt genes in vertebrate development and human disease.

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