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J. Dev. Biol. 2016, 4(4), 36; doi:10.3390/jdb4040036

Differential Cellular Responses to Hedgehog Signalling in Vertebrates—What is the Role of Competence?

1
Department of Developmental Neurobiology, King’s College London, Hodgkin Building, Guy’s Hospital Campus, London SE1 1UL, UK
2
Randall Division of Cell & Molecular Biophysics, King’s College London, Hodgkin Building, Guy’s Hospital Campus, London SE1 1UL, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Henk Roelink and Simon J. Conway
Received: 23 October 2016 / Revised: 24 November 2016 / Accepted: 1 December 2016 / Published: 10 December 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hedgehog Signaling in Embryogenesis)
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Abstract

A surprisingly small number of signalling pathways generate a plethora of cellular responses ranging from the acquisition of multiple cell fates to proliferation, differentiation, morphogenesis and cell death. These diverse responses may be due to the dose-dependent activities of signalling factors, or to intrinsic differences in the response of cells to a given signal—a phenomenon called differential cellular competence. In this review, we focus on temporal and spatial differences in competence for Hedgehog (HH) signalling, a signalling pathway that is reiteratively employed in embryos and adult organisms. We discuss the upstream signals and mechanisms that may establish differential competence for HHs in a range of different tissues. We argue that the changing competence for HH signalling provides a four-dimensional framework for the interpretation of the signal that is essential for the emergence of functional anatomy. A number of diseases—including several types of cancer—are caused by malfunctions of the HH pathway. A better understanding of what provides differential competence for this signal may reveal HH-related disease mechanisms and equip us with more specific tools to manipulate HH signalling in the clinic. View Full-Text
Keywords: chick embryo; Drosophila; iroquois; IRX; limb bud; morphogen; mouse; neural tube; proliferation; temporal adaptation; zebrafish chick embryo; Drosophila; iroquois; IRX; limb bud; morphogen; mouse; neural tube; proliferation; temporal adaptation; zebrafish
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Kiecker, C.; Graham, A.; Logan, M. Differential Cellular Responses to Hedgehog Signalling in Vertebrates—What is the Role of Competence? J. Dev. Biol. 2016, 4, 36.

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