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Updated: Mar 6 2023

Embryogenesis Genes

  • Overview
      • Gene
      • Function
      • Sonic hedgehog (SHH)
      • Involved in patterning along anterior-posterior axis
      • Embryonic development of limbs, somites, gut formation and establishment of midline CNS
        • produced in zone of polarizing activity (ZPA: collection of mesoderm cells at posterior border of apical ectodermal ridge on developing limb)
        • secreted by notochord to control neural tube patterning
      • Mutation in SHH pathway and/or haploinsufficiency can lead to holoprosencephaly, a developmental defect characterized by a failure of the early forebrain vesicle to divide into distinct halves 
      • WNT-7
      • Necessary for proper organization alongdorsal-ventral axis
      • Development of midbrain and limb patterning
        • produced at dorsal apical ectodermal ridge (AER: thickened ectoderm at distal end of each developing limb)
      • FGF
      • Stimulates mitosis and differentiation of underlying mesoderm
        • provides for lengthening of limbsby maintainingprogress zone(progress zone: proliferating mesenchymal cells proximal to AER)
        • produced atapical ectodermal ridge
      • Controls anterior-posterior neural tube patterning
      • Plays a role in somite segmentation, angiogenesis, and axon growth
      • Homeobox(HOX)
      • Involved in segmental organization in cranio-caudal direction
        • production depends on combinatorial expression of SHH, WNT-7, and FGF 
        • controls rib development, cardiac patterning, and radioulnar differentiation of the upper extremity
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