Epithelial morphogenesis

Cell. 1992 May 1;69(3):385-7. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(92)90440-n.


The identification of protein factors, such as epimorphin, scatter factor, and activin, that induce epithelial branching and convergent extension-like movements in embryonic tissues are important breakthroughs in our understanding of the role of mesenchyme in epithelial morphogenesis. Moreover, the development of simple in vitro epithelial cell systems that undergo morphogenesis in response to these factors should provide a means to investigate the cellular and molecular bases of the morphogenetic movements themselves. Although many different cellular processes are involved in such morphogenetic behaviors, cell rearrangement is a particularly intriguing one that will be important to study further. Several considerations lead to the prediction that a dynamic regulation of cell-cell adhesion is likely to play a central role in cell rearrangements and epithelial morphogenesis. Ultimately, a greater issue to be addressed is how the different cellular mechanisms participating in epithelial morphogenesis are coordinated and regulated, so as to generate the diverse patterns found in various epithelia.

Publication types

  • Comment
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Movement
  • Cell Polarity
  • Embryonic Induction
  • Epithelial Cells*
  • Membrane Proteins / physiology
  • Mesoderm / physiology*
  • Morphogenesis
  • Signal Transduction


  • Membrane Proteins