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Mol Cell Biol. 2007 Oct;27(20):7236-47. Epub 2007 Aug 20.

The Notch signaling pathway controls the size of the ocular lens by directly suppressing p57Kip2 expression.

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Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, Houston, TX 77030, USA.

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  • Mol Cell Biol. 2007 Dec;27(24):8886.


The size of an organ must be tightly controlled so that it fits within an organism. The mammalian lens is a relatively simple organ composed of terminally differentiated, amitotic lens fiber cells capped on the anterior surface by a layer of immature, mitotic epithelial cells. The proliferation of lens epithelial cells fuels the growth of the lens, thus controling the size of the lens. We report that the Notch signaling pathway defines the boundary between proliferation and differentiation in the developing lens. The loss of Notch signaling results in the loss of epithelial cells to differentiation and a much smaller lens. We found that the Notch effector Herp2 is expressed in lens epithelium and directly suppresses p57Kip2 expression, providing a molecular link between Notch signaling and the cell cycle control machinery during lens development.

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