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Development. 2012 May;139(10):1701-11. doi: 10.1242/dev.068338.

Mechanisms of tissue fusion during development.

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HHMI, Department of Pediatrics, Cell Biology Stem Cells and Development Graduate Program, University of Colorado School of Medicine and Children's Hospital Colorado, Aurora, CO 80045, USA.


Tissue fusion events during embryonic development are crucial for the correct formation and function of many organs and tissues, including the heart, neural tube, eyes, face and body wall. During tissue fusion, two opposing tissue components approach one another and integrate to form a continuous tissue; disruption of this process leads to a variety of human birth defects. Genetic studies, together with recent advances in the ability to culture developing tissues, have greatly enriched our knowledge of the mechanisms involved in tissue fusion. This review aims to bring together what is currently known about tissue fusion in several developing mammalian organs and highlights some of the questions that remain to be addressed.

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