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The logic of gene regulatory networks in early vertebrate forebrain patterning

AuthorsBeccari, Leonardo ; Marco-Ferreres, Raquel ; Bovolenta, Paola
KeywordsTranscription factors
Transcriptional networks
Cell signalling
Forebrain evolution
Issue Date2013
CitationMechanisms of Development 130: 95- 111 (2013)
AbstractThe vertebrate forebrain or prosencephalon is patterned at the beginning of neurulation into four major domains: the telencephalic, hypothalamic, retinal and diencephalic anlagen. These domains will then give rise to the majority of the brain structures involved in sensory integration and the control of higher intellectual and homeostatic functions. Understanding how forebrain pattering arises has thus attracted the interest of developmental neurobiologists for decades. As a result, most of its regulators have been identified and their hierarchical relationship is now the object of active investigation. Here, we summarize the main morphogenetic pathways and transcription factors involved in forebrain specification and propose the backbone of a possible gene regulatory network (GRN) governing its specification, taking advantage of the GRN principles elaborated by pioneer studies in simpler organisms. We will also discuss this GRN and its operational logic in the context of the remarkable morphological and functional diversification that the forebrain has undergone during evolution. © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1016/j.mod.2012.10.004
issn: 0925-4773
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