Molecular basis of morphogenesis during vertebrate gastrulation

Cell Mol Life Sci. 2009 Jul;66(14):2263-73. doi: 10.1007/s00018-009-0018-2. Epub 2009 Apr 4.


Gastrulation is a crucial step in early embryogenesis. During gastrulation, a set of morphogenetic processes takes place leading to the establishment of the basic body plan and formation of primary germ layers. A rich body of knowledge about these morphogenetic processes has been accumulated over decades. The understanding of the molecular mechanism that controls the complex cell movement and inductive processes during gastrulation remains a challenge. Substantial progress has been made recently to identify and characterize pathways and molecules implicated in the modulation of morphogenesis during vertebrate gastrulation. Here, we summarize recent findings in the analysis of signaling pathways implicated in gastrulation movements, with the aim to generalize the basic molecular principles of vertebrate morphogenesis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gastrulation*
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Morphogenesis / genetics*
  • Vertebrates / genetics*
  • Vertebrates / metabolism*