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Stepping Up a Notch: An Expanded Mathematical Model for Notch-Delta Signaling.

For the marine invertebrate Ciona intestinalis, the patterning of developing sensory neurons along the tail midlines (demarcated using a midline reporter, green) is irregular, with spacings ranging from one cell (cell nuclei in blue) to thirteen cells between consecutive neurons (double red dots), which are specified through a feedback loop involving Notch-Delta signaling and the microRNA miR-124. Building upon classical Notch-Delta models, this experimental data led to the formulation of an expanded mathematical model that explains this irregular patterning. Experimental and computational evidence from other organisms suggests that this expanded model may also explain Notch-Delta-mediated neuronal patterning in other animals. See Chen et al.

Image Credit: Jerry S. Chen and Robert W. Zeller