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Notch signaling, the segmentation clock, and the patterning of vertebrate somites

Julian Lewis*, Anja Hanisch and Maxine Holder

Author Affiliations

Vertebrate Development Laboratory, Cancer Research UK London Research Institute, 44 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A 3PX, UK

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Journal of Biology 2009, 8:44  doi:10.1186/jbiol145

Published: 22 May 2009


The Notch signaling pathway has multifarious functions in the organization of the developing vertebrate embryo. One of its most fundamental roles is in the emergence of the regular pattern of somites that will give rise to the musculoskeletal structures of the trunk. The parts it plays in the early operation of the segmentation clock and the later definition and differentiation of the somites are beginning to be understood.