The origin and evolution of cell types

Detlev Arendt, Jacob M. Musser, Clare V H Baker, Aviv Bergman, Connie Cepko, Douglas H. Erwin, Mihaela Pavlicev, Gerhard Schlosser, Stefanie Widder, Manfred D. Laubichler, Günter P. Wagner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

135 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cell types are the basic building blocks of multicellular organisms and are extensively diversified in animals. Despite recent advances in characterizing cell types, classification schemes remain ambiguous. We propose an evolutionary definition of a cell type that allows cell types to be delineated and compared within and between species. Key to cell type identity are evolutionary changes in the 'core regulatory complex' (CoRC) of transcription factors, that make emergent sister cell types distinct, enable their independent evolution and regulate cell type-specific traits termed apomeres. We discuss the distinction between developmental and evolutionary lineages, and present a roadmap for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)744-757
Number of pages14
JournalNature Reviews Genetics
Volume17
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)

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    Arendt, D., Musser, J. M., Baker, C. V. H., Bergman, A., Cepko, C., Erwin, D. H., Pavlicev, M., Schlosser, G., Widder, S., Laubichler, M. D., & Wagner, G. P. (2016). The origin and evolution of cell types. Nature Reviews Genetics, 17(12), 744-757. https://doi.org/10.1038/nrg.2016.127