Editors' ChoiceReview

Signals for Cell Size and Shape

Science's STKE  04 Jul 2000:
Vol. 2000, Issue 39, pp. tw9
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2000.39.tw9

Day and Lawrence discuss mechanisms by which organisms can control size and shape. Topics covered include the relationship of cell size to ploidy in both animals and plants, and mechanisms for detecting cell number or dimensions. The authors describe the intrinsic and extrinsic pathways that control wing development in Drosophila as an example of how various signals, such as nitric oxide and signals propagated by the insulin receptor, cellular competition for survival, and morphogen gradients, all contribute to controlling the size and shape of a specific tissue. The authors favor a model in which patterning by morphogens in conjunction with thresholds for responding to the morphogen gradient dictate the final number of cells as well as the dimensions and shape of the wing.

Day, S.J. and Lawrence, P.A. (2000) Measuring dimensions: the regulation of size and shape. Development 127: 2977-2987. [Online Journal]