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Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2007 Apr;19(2):166-75. Epub 2007 Feb 20.

Crossing paths with Notch in the hyper-network.

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Department of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Charlestown, Massachusetts, USA.


The development of complex and diverse metazoan morphologies is coordinated by a surprisingly small number of evolutionarily conserved signaling mechanisms. These signals can act in parallel but often appear to function as an integrated hyper-network. The nodes defining this complex molecular circuitry are poorly understood, but the biological significance of pathway cross-talk is profound. The importance of such large-scale signal integration is exemplified by Notch and its ability to cross-talk with all the major pathways to influence cell differentiation, proliferation, survival and migration. The Notch pathway is, thus, a useful paradigm to illustrate the complexity of pathway cross-talk: its pervasiveness, context dependency, and importance in development and disease.

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