Robust selection of sensory organ precursors by the Notch-Delta pathway

Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2011 Dec;23(6):663-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ceb.2011.09.005. Epub 2011 Sep 29.

Abstract

The patterning of multicellular organisms is robust to environmental, genetic, or stochastic fluctuations. Mathematical modeling is instrumental in identifying mechanisms supporting this robustness. The principle of lateral inhibition, whereby a differentiating cell inhibits its neighbors from adopting the same fate, is frequently used for selecting a single cell out of a cluster of equipotent cells. For example, Sensory Organ Precursors (SOP) in the fruit-fly Drosophila implement lateral inhibition by activating the Notch-Delta pathway. We discuss parameters affecting the rate of errors in this process, and the mechanism (inhibitory cis interaction between Notch and Delta) predicted to reduce this error.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Patterning
  • Cell Communication
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Drosophila / genetics
  • Drosophila / growth & development*
  • Drosophila / metabolism*
  • Drosophila Proteins / genetics
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism*
  • Eye / cytology
  • Eye / growth & development
  • Eye / metabolism
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / genetics
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / metabolism*
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Models, Biological
  • Receptors, Notch / genetics
  • Receptors, Notch / metabolism*
  • Sense Organs / cytology
  • Sense Organs / growth & development
  • Sense Organs / metabolism

Substances

  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Receptors, Notch
  • delta protein