Animal embryogenesis is the process by which the embryo develops from the fertilised egg cell. Important events that occur during embryogenesis are gastrulation, formation of the early nervous system and initiation of organogenesis.

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research | | open

    Polarized epithelial cells must correctly position a wide range of subcellular structures. Here the authors demonstrate an apicobasal gradient of Rac GTPase activity, which is maintained by polarity proteins in Drosophila epithelial sheets, and is required to maintain actin-dependent protrusion form and position.

    • Africa Couto
    • , Natalie Ann Mack
    • , Lucrezia Favia
    •  & Marios Georgiou
  • Research | | open

    Large-scale tissue reorganization requires the generation of directional tension, which requires orientation of the cytoskeleton. Here Chanet et al. alter tissue shape and tension in the Drosophila embryo to show that geometric and mechanical constraints act as cues to orient the cytoskeleton and tension.

    • Soline Chanet
    • , Callie J. Miller
    • , Eeshit Dhaval Vaishnav
    • , Bard Ermentrout
    • , Lance A. Davidson
    •  & Adam C. Martin
  • Research |

    Bower et al. describe a population of mural lymphatic endothelial cells found along meningeal blood vessels in the adult zebrafish. These mural cells are distinct from meningeal lymphatic vessel cells but form by developmental lymphangiogenesis. They take up low-density lipoproteins from the bloodstream and can modulate angiogenesis during meningeal vascularization.

    • Neil I Bower
    • , Katarzyna Koltowska
    • , Cathy Pichol-Thievend
    • , Isaac Virshup
    • , Scott Paterson
    • , Anne K Lagendijk
    • , Weili Wang
    • , Benjamin W Lindsey
    • , Stephen J Bent
    • , Sungmin Baek
    • , Maria Rondon-Galeano
    • , Daniel G Hurley
    • , Naoki Mochizuki
    • , Cas Simons
    • , Mathias Francois
    • , Christine A Wells
    • , Jan Kaslin
    •  & Benjamin M Hogan
    Nature Neuroscience 20, 774–783
  • Research |

    Bradley Cairns, Douglas Carrell, Stephen Tapscott and colleagues transcriptionally profile human oocytes and preimplantation embryos and highlight DUX4-family proteins as activators of cleavage-stage genes and repetitive elements. They show that Dux expression converts mouse embryonic stem cells into two-cell (2C) embryo-like cells, thus suggesting mouse DUX and human DUX4 as drivers of the mammalian cleavage/2C state.

    • Peter G Hendrickson
    • , Jessie A Doráis
    • , Edward J Grow
    • , Jennifer L Whiddon
    • , Jong-Won Lim
    • , Candice L Wike
    • , Bradley D Weaver
    • , Christian Pflueger
    • , Benjamin R Emery
    • , Aaron L Wilcox
    • , David A Nix
    • , C Matthew Peterson
    • , Stephen J Tapscott
    • , Douglas T Carrell
    •  & Bradley R Cairns
    Nature Genetics 49, 925–934
  • Research | | open

    Common mechanisms underlie organ regeneration, but it is unclear if the same regulatory elements are activated in distinct cells, such as cardiomyocytes and fibroblasts. Here, the authors identify a ctgfa upstream sequence, called careg, induced by TGFb/Activin during zebrafish heart and fin regeneration.

    • Catherine Pfefferli
    •  & Anna Jaźwińska

News and Comment

  • Editorial |

    Understanding of how epigenetic information is acquired, processed and transmitted through cell division, and potentially across generations, remains limited. Mechanistic studies aiming to elucidate the molecular underpinnings of these phenomena may provide insights into development, disease susceptibility and evolution.

  • News and Views |

    The role of the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in tumour progression remains a topic of intense debate. Now, data on the role of Zeb1 in the metastatic spread of pancreatic cancer clarify apparently conflicting views by revealing context-specific, differential use of individual epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition transcription factors in cancer cell dissemination.

    • M. Angela Nieto
    Nature Cell Biology 19, 416–418
  • News and Views |

    Determining the differentiation potential of stem and progenitor cells is essential for understanding their function, yet our ability to do so is limited by the restrictions of experimental assays. Based on single-cell functional and molecular profiling experiments, a new computational approach shows how lineage commitment may occur in human haematopoiesis.

    • Fiona K. Hamey
    •  & Berthold Göttgens
    Nature Cell Biology 19, 261–263