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Trends Genet. 1994 Nov;10(11):392-6.

A model for specification of the left-right axis in vertebrates.

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Frederick Cancer Research and Development Center, Laboratory of Eukaryotic Gene Expression, Frederick, MD 21702-1201.


The mechanisms that underlie the formation of the left-right embryonic axis in vertebrates are not known. The programmed pattern of cell-type change in fission yeast results from the inheritance of specific chromatids of the parental chromosome. Here, I address how such a model may explain left-right specification of the viscera in mice. The model proposes that DNA replication produces different chromatids, and that these specific chromatids of both homologs are nonrandomly segregated to daughter cells to specify the left-right axis of the embryo. Such a model presents a simple explanation of the interesting phenotype of the newly discovered insertional mutation inv in mice, which causes reversal of the left-right axis, proposing that it is caused by a chromosomal inversion.

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