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Adv Exp Med Biol. 2008;638:95-112.

Role of Delta-like-3 in mammalian somitogenesis and vertebral column formation.

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Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales, Developmental Biology Program, Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, 384 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst, Sydney, NSW, Australia.


Somitogenesis is a term that encompasses somite formation, patterning and differentiation and it is a process that is fundamental to the formation of the axial skeleton in vertebrates. Notch signalling is a mechanism used to specify cell fate in many different contexts, with signalling occurring between cells in contact. Notch signalling is fundamental to the formation and patterning of somites and importantly a ligand of Notch, is mutated in the abnormal vertebral segmentation syndrome spondylocostal dysostosis. Here we discuss what is known about the expression and function of this ligand, Delta-like-3, during somitogenesis and vertebral column formation in mouse and humans.

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