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Conserved and divergent mechanisms in left-right axis formation.

Author(s): Burdine, Rebecca; Schier, Alexander

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Abstract: Vertebrates appear bilaterally symmetric but an internal left–right (L–R) axis is revealed by the placement of asymmetric organs about the midline. For example, the human heart is located to the left of the body cavity, whereas the liver is located to the right. Paired organs can also display L–R differences, as seen in human lungs, in which the right lung has three lobes and the left lung two. Alterations in L–R axis formation can lead to variations in the normal arrangement of organs, including complete inversion of the axis (situs inversus), randomized placement of organs (heterotaxia or situs ambiguus), and mirror image duplications of paired organs (isomerism). In the past 5 years important progress has been made in clarifying the embryological and molecular mechanisms underlying the development of laterality in different vertebrates. Surprisingly, however, it is still unclear if many of the strategies employed in one group of vertebrates are also applied in other groups. In this review, we compare the roles in L–R development ascribed to various molecules and embryological structures in the four common vertebrate model systems.
Publication Date: 1-Apr-2000
Electronic Publication Date: 1-Apr-2000
Citation: Burdine, RD, Schier, AF. (2000). Conserved and divergent mechanisms in left-right axis formation.. Genes Dev, 14 (7), 763 - 776
ISSN: 0890-9369
Pages: 763 - 776
Language: eng
Type of Material: Journal Article
Series/Report no.: Volume 14;
Journal/Proceeding Title: Genes and Development
Version: Final published version. Article is made available in OAR by the publisher's permission or policy.

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