Molecular mechanisms of segmental patterning in the vertebrate hindbrain and neural crest

Bioessays. 1993 Aug;15(8):499-505. doi: 10.1002/bies.950150802.


Recent work has shown that segmentation underlies the patterning of the vertebrate hindbrain and its neural crest derivatives. Several genes have been identified with segment-restricted expression, and evidence is now emerging regarding their function and regulatory relationships. The expression patterns of Hox genes and the phenotype of null mutants indicate roles in specifying segment identity. A zinc finger gene Krox-20 is a segment-specific regulator of Hox expression, and it seems probable that retinoic acid receptors also regulate Hox genes in the hindbrain. The receptor tyrosine kinase gene Sek may mediate cell-cell interactions that lead to segmentation. These studies provide a starting point for understanding the molecular basis of segmental patterning in the hindbrain.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution
  • Chick Embryo
  • Drosophila / embryology
  • Drosophila / genetics
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Genes, Homeobox*
  • Genes, Insect
  • Mice
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / physiology
  • Neural Crest / physiology*
  • Rhombencephalon / embryology*
  • Rhombencephalon / ultrastructure
  • Vertebrates / embryology*
  • Vertebrates / genetics


  • Nerve Tissue Proteins