Left-right asymmetry in the vertebrate embryo: From early information to higher-level integration

Ángel Raya, Juan Carlos Izpisúa Belmonte*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

185 Scopus citations


Although vertebrates seem to be essentially bilaterally symmetrical on the exterior, there are numerous interior left-right asymmetries in the disposition and placement of internal organs. These asymmetries are established during embryogenesis by complex epigenetic and genetic cascades. Recent studies in a range of model organisms have made important progress in understanding how this laterality information is generated and conveyed to large regions of the embryo. Both commonalities and divergences are emerging in the mechanisms that different vertebrates use in left-right axis specification. Recent evidence also provides intriguing links between the establishment of left-right asymmetries and the symmetrical elongation of the anterior-posterior axis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)283-293
Number of pages11
JournalNature Reviews Genetics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)

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