Developmental Biology

Modeling Pattern Formation

Science's STKE  01 Feb 2000:
Vol. 2000, Issue 17, pp. tw1
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2000.17.tw1

Pattern formation in early development is a well-established process. One mechanism for the induction of these patterns is juxtacrine signaling in which the receptor and the ligand are both membrane anchored so that the signal is limited to adjacent cells. Lateral inhibition, exemplified by the Notch-Delta interaction, provides one method for establishing patterns that alternate with a frequency of exactly two cells. Owen et al. have developed a mathematical model for lateral induction that could explain how lateral induction can lead to patterns that are not restricted to the two-cell alternating pattern. Their model provides a mechanism by which juxatracine signaling can lead to patterns that occur with frequencies greater than two cells.

Owen, M.R., Sherratt, J.A., and Wearing, H.J. (2000) Lateral induction by juxtacrine signaling is a new mechanism for pattern formation. Dev. Biol. 217: 54-61 [Abstract]