From Birth to Pass Away, the Molecular Biology of Pattern Formation I

Type of instruction




Part of degree program


Recommended in

Semesters 1-4

Typically offered in

Autumn/Spring semester

Course description

Titles and sub-titles on the weeks in the first semester

1 Introduction and program:

Terminology and definitions

Interpretation of life cycle at the levels of cell, metazoan and sepcies

The program of the first semester

2-3 The birth of a cell - the control of cell cycle

The stages in cell cycle - the clock model, phases, and control and check points

The network of control - circles of control and controllers

The control of cell cycle

- levels and networks

- mechanisms (titration, recompartmentalization, kinetic proofreading)

- cycle variants and molecular oscillators

- regulatory kinetic delaying

- the structure and function of the CycA-CDK2-p27 complex

A proteomic outlook

4-5 The death of a cell - the control of apoptosis (programmed cell death)

Death as prerequisite for life

Pro and anti -apoptotic factors

Judges and executors

The control of apoptosis

Apoptosis dayly

- the death of a T-cell

- burial ceremony

6 The price of immortality - upseted balaces

The loss of limits on eneternity - the effects of perturbation in the control of cell cycle

The regained eternity - the effects of perturbation in the controll of apoptosis

The molecular interpretation of tumor occurence incidence and other neoplastic degenerations

7-8 How long is life ? - molecular senescence

Life strategies - the price of reproduction

Cellular and molecular ageing

The effects of active life - the role of reactive oxygen sepcies

- the lesson of matuselah

- the toxic calories

Lethal side effects - the price of integrity

- the role of regulators of cell cycle and apoptosis

- telomer, the measured time

The life business

9-14 What hatches from an egg - from the generation to scaling of body axes

Introduction and terminology

- pattern, information and early development

- the startegies of molecular pattern formation

The process and control of eraly pattern formation in Drosophila

- the timing of information

- quantiative and qualitative information

- a formation and desecendence descendence of patterns

- the proteomics of Wnt and Hh signal transduction

Possible mecahnisms of patterning

- magic, e.g. sequential subdivision

- domino, pattern as the frozen time

Molecular mechanisms and models

- the origin of patterns and (of the formation - ez nem kell) of sharp pattern boundaries

- the activity of gene networks in the generation of gap pattern

- an analog reading and integration of gap-information in the generation of Eve


- diffusion control and signal amplifiaction in the generation of sharp dorsal Dpp


- the signalling network to generate the sharp Hh/Wg boundary

The origin of asymmetry and the source of patterns in Drosophila

- egg formation

- "shaping" of the egg

The left-right (L/R) asymmetry in vertebrates

- what is known of the early embryogenesis in vertebrates

- the origin of L/R asymmetry of internal organs

- rythm and pattern in somitogenesis - the wave-front and clock mechanism

- L/R antipatterning in somitogenesis

Titles and sub-titles on the weeks in the second semester

1 Introduction

Overwiev of topics in the first semester.

The program of the second semester

1-4 The beauty of flowers - pattern formation in plants

The origin of asymmetry - patterning in the early embryogenesis

Latter pattern formation events I. - patterning in vegetative apices

- the formation of tissue zonation and nesting in the root tip

- the formation of shoot architecture

Latter pattern formation events II. - floral patterning

- the genetics of whorl determination

- the control of floral patterning: the determination of meristem type, floral

organs, shape and coloration

The patterning of time - molecular clock mechanisms

- the structure of biological clock mechanisms

- plant clock mechanisms in the determination of flowering time

6-8 Arms, legs, wings - the control of appendage development in vertebrates

The early and late patterning - the "Hox" divide

The structural and functional properties of Hox genes

The definition of the position and type of limb primordium and the formation of the x/y


- the x/y polarization in the limb primordia

- segmentation along the proximo-distal (z) axis - expression fields, morphogen

gradients, and the ZPA and AER organizators

- the Hox-scaling of z-segments

Scaling of a segment - determination of the numbers and types of fingers

- the Shh-Gli3 system

- the role of Hox genes

9-10 Fine tuning and maintenance - finishing works in body pattern formation

Dimensioning - the determination of size

- controlling the balance of cell cycle and apoptosis

- dimension and shape variants in leaves, flowers and wings

Design "without patterning"

Repair mechanisms - the maintenance of patterns

- the role of stem cells

- regulators of pattern formation and the maintenance of stem cell state

11-14 Why dragons do not exist? - perturbations in molecular patterning

Organismic level perturbaions in the function of pattern controlling molecules

Species level perturbations in the control of patterning

- gnoms or the evolution of ontogenesis - EVO-DEVO

- genetic interpretation of (ECO)-EVO-DEVO

The descendance of Hox-genes and the evolution of design

The mecahnisms of speciation - the significance of the quantity and quality of Hox


- the descendance maize fro teozinte

- the appendage evolution in vertebrates

- insect evolution with changes of Ubx

- the "Hox model" of shape evolution in modular segments

The dynamics of speciation - the role of stress factor

- variant generation with Hsp90 inactivation

- the interpretation of gradual and puncuated evolution

"Applied" EVO-DEVO - hopeful monsters

A "brave new world" - concluding remarks

  • Carroll, Grenier, Weatherbee: From DNA to diversity, molecular genetics and the evolution of animal design, second edition, (Blackwell Publishing, 2005),

  • Lecture notes and slides