Control of tissue development by morphogens

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Intercellular signaling molecules, known as morphogens, act at a long range in developing tissues to provide spatial information and control properties such as cell fate and tissue growth. The production, transport, and removal of morphogens shape their concentration profiles in time and space. Downstream signaling cascades and gene regulatory networks within cells then convert the spatiotemporal morphogen profiles into distinct cellular responses. The current challenges are to understand the diverse molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying morphogen gradient formation, as well as the logic of downstream regulatory circuits involved in morphogen interpretation. This knowledge, combining experimental and theoretical results, is essential to understand emerging properties of morphogen-controlled systems, such as robustness and scaling. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Cell and Developmental Biology, Volume 39 is October 2023. Please see for revised estimates.

Journal details

Volume 39
Pages 91-121
Available online
Publication date