Regulation of the Hedgehog Morphogene Gradient

  • G. D’Angelo
  • F. Wendler
  • K. Ayers
  • P. P. ThérondEmail author


The development of a multicellular organism is controlled by a genetic program that manifests itself in proliferation, cell differentiation, and apoptosis, leading to the formation of functional organs. A small number of secreted molecules work as “instructors” during these processes [1, 2]. Among them are the Hedgehog (Hh) family of proteins, which act from their source of production at short and long range. They trigger cell fate decisions by inducing a signaling cascade in the ligand-receiving tissues of invertebrates and vertebrates. Dramatic developmental abnormalities are observed in human embryos with compromised Hh signaling, and while great effort is being made to understand and manipulate the signaling cascade downstream of Hh receptor activation, less attention has been payed to the secretion and release of the Hh ligand itself. In this review, we will discuss recent progresses in the understanding of Hh ligand packaging and dispatch from producing cells and its consequences for gradient formation.


Hedgehog Secretion Trafficking Morphogenetic gradient Extracellular matrix Heparan sulfate proteoglycans 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. D’Angelo
  • F. Wendler
  • K. Ayers
  • P. P. Thérond
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Institut Biologie du Développement & Cancer – IBDCUniversité de Nice Sophia-Antipolis, UMR6543 CNRS, Centre de BiochimieNice cedex 2France

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