The apparent symmetry of the vertebrate body conceals profound asymmetries in the development and placement of internal organs. Asymmetric organ development is controlled in part by genes expressed asymmetrically in the early embryo, and alterations in the activities of these genes can result in severe defects during organogenesis. Recently, data from different vertebrates have allowed researchers to put forward a model of genetic interactions that explains how asymmetric patterns of gene expression in the early embryo are translated into spatial patterns of asymmetric organ development. This model helps us to understand the molecular basis of a number of congenital malformations in humans.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Medicine