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Fly (Austin). 2008 Nov-Dec;2(6):316-9. Epub 2008 Nov 20.

Multiple roles for Hox genes in segment-specific shaping of CNS lineages.

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Institute of Genetics, University of Mainz, Mainz, Germany.


In this article we highlight some of the recently accumulating evidence showing that Hox genes are involved at different steps during the development of neural cell lineages to control segmental patterning of the CNS. In addition to their well-known early role in establishing segmental identities, Hox genes act on neural stem cells and their progeny at various stages during embryonic and postembryonic development to control proliferation, cell fate and/or apoptosis in a segment-specific manner. This leads to differential shaping of serially homologous lineages and thus to structural diversification of segmental CNS units (neuromeres) in adaptation to their specific functional tasks in processing sensory information and generation of motor patterns.

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