Reciprocal Induction and Lateral Inhibition
In the development of an organism, cells must "talk" with one another to ensure a proper division of labor. The outcome of these cell-cell conversations can be an agreement about which cell should follow what differentiation pathway. For instance, negotiation between two initially equivalent cells can send each down distinct developmental paths. One cell preventing the other from following a particular path is called lateral inhibition, a process that prevents the duplication of structures at the expense of something not forming. Alternatively, two cells with distinct fates can send and receive signals between themselves, inducing further differentiation. Such reciprocal induction is common in the formation of internal organs. In this section, we consider two signaling systems that mediate such dialogues between cells.
Cell-Surface Ephrin Ligands and Receptors Mediate Reciprocal Induction During Angiogenesis
Perhaps the simplest type of reciprocal induction is between cells that interact through two cell-surface proteins, each of
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