Lung endoderm morphogenesis: gasping for form and function

Annu Rev Cell Dev Biol. 2015;31:553-73. doi: 10.1146/annurev-cellbio-100814-125249. Epub 2015 Sep 10.


The respiratory endoderm develops from a small cluster of cells located on the ventral anterior foregut. This population of progenitors generates the myriad epithelial lineages required for proper lung function in adults through a complex and delicately balanced series of developmental events controlled by many critical signaling and transcription factor pathways. In the past decade, understanding of this process has grown enormously, helped in part by cell lineage fate analysis and deep sequencing of the transcriptomes of various progenitors and differentiated cell types. This review explores how these new techniques, coupled with more traditional approaches, have provided a detailed picture of development of the epithelial lineages in the lung and insight into how aberrant development can lead to lung disease.

Keywords: branching morphogenesis; congenital lung disease; noncoding RNA; signaling; transcription factor.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Lineage / physiology
  • Endoderm / physiology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Lung / physiology*
  • Morphogenesis / physiology*
  • Organogenesis / physiology