Sequential transfer of left-right information during vertebrate embryo development

Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2004 Oct;14(5):575-81. doi: 10.1016/j.gde.2004.07.011.


The establishment of left-right asymmetries in the vertebrate embryo is carried out by complex genetic interactions that impart left- or right-sided information to the developing organs and structures. The origin of LR information is still unclear, but recent advances have provided new insights as to how it is relayed to the embryo node, and thereafter to the lateral plate mesoderm. In both steps, signaling by members of the transforming growth factor-beta superfamily plays critical roles in amplifying and spreading LR cues, which are reviewed here.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Patterning*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Humans
  • Mesoderm / metabolism
  • Nodal Protein
  • Signal Transduction
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / genetics
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / metabolism
  • Vertebrates / embryology*
  • Vertebrates / metabolism*


  • NODAL protein, human
  • Nodal Protein
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta