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Underlying assumptions of developmental models

Britten, Roy J. (1998) Underlying assumptions of developmental models. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 95 (16). pp. 9372-9377. ISSN 0027-8424. http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:BRIpnas98c

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Abstract

These 10 obvious propositions make a model of the specification of form, intended to expose underlying assumptions of developmental biology for examination and future experimentation. (I) The control of development is by means of local interactions, rather than global control mechanisms. (II) A macromolecule near a specific site will bind by mass action. (III) Starting with a precursor cell, all cells are assembled automatically by specifically binding macromolecules. (IV) At the surface of cells are specific adhesion sites that determine how all cells bind to each other. (V) An organism will assemble automatically from parts (macromolecules, structures, and cells) specified by nuclear control factors. (VI) The nuclear control factors in each cell are from precursor cells and factors derived by signaling from other cells. (VII) The macromolecules that determine specific binding, cell adhesion, and signaling are controlled by nuclear control factors, and in a grand feedback the cell adhesion and signaling systems determine the nuclear factor patterns. (VIII) The embryonic precursor cells for organs, termed "precursor groups," are linked by adhesion and signaling relationships. (IX) The precursor groups include precursors for regions of an organ and boundary cells between regions having few cell types, growing without additional specific cell-to-cell relationships. (X) Organs are held together by cell adhesion in functional relationships. Thus the form and function of the organism is specified entirely by local control mechanisms. Without global control systems, information for form is in the genes for structural proteins, adhesion molecules, control factors, signaling molecules, and their control regions.


Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Copyright © 1998 by The National Academy of Sciences. Contributed by Roy J. Britten, June 1, 1998. Thanks go to Eric Davidson for saying that what I wrote in a draft as being logically necessary was obvious and to Elliot Meyerowitz, Bill Klein, Geoffrey Graham, and Costas Flytzanis for comments. This work was supported by National Institutes of Health grants. The publication costs of this article were defrayed in part by page charge payment. This article must therefore be hereby marked "advertisement" in accordance with 18 U.S.C. §1734 solely to indicate this fact.
Subject Keywords:embryonic development; signaling; nuclear factors; units; local information
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:BRIpnas98c
Persistent URL:http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:BRIpnas98c
Alternative URL:http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/abstract/95/16/9372
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:9875
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:25 Mar 2008
Last Modified:14 Nov 2014 19:20

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