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Somitogenesis pp 124-139 | Cite as

bHLH Proteins and Their Role in Somitogenesis

  • Miguel Maroto
  • Tadahiro Iimura
  • J. Kim Dale
  • Yasumasa Bessho
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 638)

Abstract

The most obvious manifestation of the existence of a segmented, or metameric, body plan in vertebrate embryos is seen during the formation of the somites. Somites are transient embryonic structures formed in a progressive manner from a nonsegmented mesoderm in a highly regulated process called somitogenesis. As development proceeds different compartments are formed within each somite and these progressively follow a variety of differentiation programs to form segmented organs, such as the different bones that make the axial skeleton, body skeletal muscles and part of the dermis. Transcription factors from the basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) protein family have been described to be implicated in each of the processes involved in somite formation. bHLH proteins are a family of transcription factors characterized by the presence of a DNA binding domain and a dimerization motif that consists of a basic region adjacent to an amphipathic helix, a loop and a second amphipathic helix. In this chapter we will review a number of bHLH proteins known to play a role in somitogenesis.

Keywords

Notch Signaling bHLH Protein bHLH Transcription Factor Amphipathic Helix Paraxial Mesoderm 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Landes Bioscience and Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Miguel Maroto
    • 1
  • Tadahiro Iimura
    • 2
  • J. Kim Dale
    • 1
  • Yasumasa Bessho
    • 3
  1. 1.College of Life SciencesUniversity of DundeeDundeeScotland, UK
  2. 2.Stowers Institute for Medical ResearchKansas CityUSA
  3. 3.Graduate School of Biological SciencesNara Institute of Science and TechnologyTakayama, IkomaJapan

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