Motor neuron specification in worms, flies and mice: conserved and 'lost' mechanisms

Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2002 Oct;12(5):558-64. doi: 10.1016/s0959-437x(02)00340-4.


Motor neuron differentiation has been studied intensively in both invertebrates and vertebrates in recent years. These studies have led to the identification of several key regulatory genes acting to generate motor neurons and to specify their subclass identities. By comparing findings from Caenorhabditis elegans, Drosophila and vertebrate model systems, it is apparent that both evolutionarily conserved and non-conserved mechanisms are used.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / cytology
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / embryology*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics
  • Conserved Sequence
  • Drosophila melanogaster / cytology
  • Drosophila melanogaster / embryology*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Homeodomain Proteins / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Motor Neurons / physiology*
  • Species Specificity
  • Vertebrates / embryology*
  • Vertebrates / genetics


  • Homeodomain Proteins