The molecular regulation of vertebrate limb patterning

Natalie C. Butterfield, Edwina McGlinn, Carol Wicking

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37 Citations (Scopus)


The limb has long been considered a paradigm for organogenesis because of its simplicity and ease of manipulation. However, it has become increasingly clear that the processes required to produce a perfectly formed limb involve complex molecular interactions across all three axes of limb development. Old models have evolved with acquisition of molecular knowledge, and in more recent times mathematical modeling approaches have been invoked to explain the precise spatio-temporal regulation of gene networks that coordinate limb patterning and outgrowth. This review focuses on recent advances in our understanding of vertebrate limb development, highlighting the signaling interactions required to lay down the pattern on which the processes of differentiation will act to ultimately produce the final limb.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-341
Number of pages23
JournalCurrent Topics in Developmental Biology
Issue numberC
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Anterior-posterior limb patterning
  • Apical ectodermal ridge
  • GLI3
  • Proximal-distal limb patterning
  • SHH-GREM1-FGF loop
  • Zone of polarizing activity

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