The first epithelia to arise in an organism face the challenge of maintaining the integrity of the newly formed tissue, while exhibiting the behavioral flexibility required for morphogenetic processes to occur effectively. Epithelial cells integrate biochemical and biomechanical cues, both intrinsic and extrinsic, in order to bring about the molecular changes which determine their morphology, behavior and fate. In this review we highlight recent advances in our understanding of the various dynamic processes that the emergent epithelial cells undergo during the first seven days of mouse development and speculate what the future holds in understanding the mechanistic bases for these processes through integrative approaches.
Curr Opin Genet Dev
110 - 117