Opinion: Building epithelial architecture: insights from three-dimensional culture models

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2002 Jul;3(7):531-7. doi: 10.1038/nrm859.


How do individual cells organize into multicellular tissues? Here, we propose that the morphogenetic behaviour of epithelial cells is guided by two distinct elements: an intrinsic differentiation programme that drives formation of a lumen-enclosing monolayer, and a growth factor-induced, transient de-differentiation that allows this monolayer to be remodelled.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Communication
  • Cell Culture Techniques / methods
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Epithelial Cells / cytology*
  • Epithelial Cells / drug effects
  • Hepatocyte Growth Factor / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Morphogenesis


  • Hepatocyte Growth Factor