Resolving the mechanisms underlying epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition of the lateral plate mesoderm

Axel H. Newton, Craig A. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleOtherpeer-review


Formation of the vertebrate limb buds begins with a localized epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) of the somatic lateral plate mesoderm (LPM). While the processes that drive proliferation and outgrowth of the limb mesenchyme are well established, the fundamental mechanisms that precede this process and initiate EMT are less understood. In this review, we outline putative drivers of EMT of the LPM, drawing from analyses across a range of vertebrates and developmental models. We detail the expression patterns of key EMT transcriptional regulators in the somatic LPM of the presumptive limb fields, and their potential role in producing a mesenchymal cell fate. These include a putative cooperative role between the EMT inducers PRRX1 and TWIST1, supported by evidence in zebrafish and chicken models but unconfirmed data from mice. As such, additional functional data are required to definitively determine the mechanisms that initiate and drive EMT of the somatic LPM, a critical transition preceding formation of the limb bud mesenchyme.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere23531
Number of pages6
Journalgenesis: The Journal of Genetics and Development
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024


  • development
  • EMT
  • limb
  • LPM
  • MET

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