Mechanistic insight into how Shh patterns the vertebrate limb

Edwina McGlinn, Clifford Tabin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOther

82 Citations (Scopus)


The hands and feet of a newborn baby are a beautiful reminder of the complexity of embryonic patterning. Classical studies on how these structures form have led to a theoretical framework for understanding, in general, how discrete groups of cells can instruct differential fates across a wider field through the action of long-range signals. The discovery just more than a decade ago that localized expression of Sonic hedgehog (Shh) differentially patterns structures across the limb field, resulting in digits with unique characteristics, provided a starting point for readdressing these models at a molecular level. Current research has revealed unexpected complexity in how a gradient of Shh activity is both established and received, prompting re-evaluation of the nature of patterning mechanisms within the limb.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)426 - 432
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Genetics and Development
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes

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