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Trends Genet. 2017 Sep;33(9):616-628. doi: 10.1016/j.tig.2017.06.004. Epub 2017 Jul 15.

Left-Right Patterning: Breaking Symmetry to Asymmetric Morphogenesis.

Author information

1
Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA. Electronic address: dtgrimes@princeton.edu.
2
Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA. Electronic address: rburdine@princeton.edu.

Abstract

Vertebrates exhibit striking left-right (L-R) asymmetries in the structure and position of the internal organs. Symmetry is broken by motile cilia-generated asymmetric fluid flow, resulting in a signaling cascade - the Nodal-Pitx2 pathway - being robustly established within mesodermal tissue on the left side only. This pathway impinges upon various organ primordia to instruct their side-specific development. Recently, progress has been made in understanding both the breaking of embryonic L-R symmetry and how the Nodal-Pitx2 pathway controls lateralized cell differentiation, migration, and other aspects of cell behavior, as well as tissue-level mechanisms, that drive asymmetries in organ formation. Proper execution of asymmetric organogenesis is critical to health, making furthering our understanding of L-R development an important concern.

KEYWORDS:

Nodal; Pitx2; cell migration; cilia; left–right asymmetry; morphogenesis

PMID:
28720483
PMCID:
PMC5764106
DOI:
10.1016/j.tig.2017.06.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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