Scaling of morphogen gradients

Danny Ben-Zvi, Ben Zion Shilo, Naama Barkai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Individuals of the same or closely related species can vary substantially in size. Still, the proportions within and between tissues are precisely kept. This adaptation of pattern with size termed scaling, is receiving a growing attention. We review experimental evidence for scaling, and describe theoretical models for mechanisms that scale morphogen gradients. We particularly note the Expansion-Repression mechanism, in which a diffusible molecule that positively regulates the morphogen gradient width is repressed by morphogen signaling. The Expansion-Repression circuit provides scaling in a robust manner and is readily implemented by a host of molecular mechanisms. We suggest means for identifying such a circuit in a system of interest.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)704-710
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Genetics and Development
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank members of our group for fruitful discussions. D.B.-Z. is supported by the Adams Fellowship Program of the Israeli Academy of Sciences and Humanities. This work was supported by the European Research Council, Israel Science foundation, Minerva, and the Helen and Martin Kimmel Award for Innovative Investigations to N.B. B.-Z.S. holds the Hilda and Cecil Lewis Professorial Chair in Molecular Genetics.


Dive into the research topics of 'Scaling of morphogen gradients'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this