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Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2007 Aug;17(4):272-80. Epub 2007 Jul 12.

Computational modelling of epithelial patterning.

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Max-Planck-Institut für Entwicklungsbiologie, Spemannstr. 35, D-72076 Tübingen, Germany.


The generation of polar cell polarity (PCP) can be regarded as a pattern-forming process. Pattern formation requires local self-enhancement and long-range inhibition that can take place either within a cell or between adjacent cells. A comparison of this general condition with implementations in molecular terms in recent PCP models facilitates an understanding of inherent similarities and differences between them. In addition, it is important to integrate the most interesting and still valid results of classical transplantation experiments that were made some 40 years ago. They remind us that the global polarizing signal is based on graded positional identities carried by the individual cells whose molecular nature is still unknown.

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