Introduction: Molecular Control of Development

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Abstract

The development of a multicellular organism from the fertilized egg is the result of spatiotemporally orchestrated processes like cell proliferation, migration, differentiation, survival, and death. During evolution general strategies have evolved that allow coordination and tight control of such events over time and space:

  • Cell-intrinsic mechanisms, such as cell-autonomous control of gene expression

  • Cell-extrinsic mechanisms, such as cell-to-cell communication through secreted signal molecules and their corresponding receptors