Evolutionary origins of notch signaling in early development

Shaolin Shi, Pamela Stanley

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Notch signaling is known to play key roles in early embryonic development and in the specification or patterning of germ layers in several lower organisms. Thus it is surprising that the removal of maternal and zygotic protein O-fucosyltransferase 1 (Pofut1), an essential component of the canonical Notch signaling pathway, does not affect early embryogenesis in the mouse. 1 Mouse embryos lacking Pofut1 develop normally through blastogenesis to E8.0 when all three germ layers have formed.1 Here we summarize roles for Notch signaling in early embryonic development of several species, and discuss the potential evolutionary origins of these roles. We propose trial Notch signaling might have first been used in the common ancestor of the metazoa for certain advanced developmental processes such as segmentation, and only later in evolution been coopted for use at early stages of embryogenesis in some organisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)274-278
Number of pages5
JournalCell Cycle
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2006


  • Evolution
  • Gastrulation
  • Germ layer formation
  • Notch receptor signaling
  • Preimplantation development
  • Protein O-fucosyltransferase 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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