Cellular Pattern Formation via Notch Signaling
Herbert Levine, Rice University, USA
One of the best-studied intercellular signaling systems used in developmental biology relies on the Notch pathway. In its canonical form, this pathway leads to lateral inhibition and thereby to spatial organization of differentiated tissue. During cancer progression, this pathway can shift to a lateral induction mode that may play a key role in metastasis. Here we survey various models of the Notch pathway and place its dynamics within the general mathematical framework of non-equilibrium pattern formation. We argue that the results may be helpful in resolving outstanding issues regarding pattern regularity and pattern flexibility.