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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
J. Dev. Biol. 2016, 4(4), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/jdb4040036
Received: 23 October 2016 / Revised: 24 November 2016 / Accepted: 1 December 2016 / Published: 10 December 2016
(This article belongs to the Collection Hedgehog Signaling in Embryogenesis)
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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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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