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An eye on the head: the development and evolution of craniofacial muscles


Details
Publication Date: 
01/06/2011
Authors: 
Sambasivan R, Kuratani S, Tajbakhsh S
Citation: 
Development. 2011 Jun;138(12):2401-15.
DOI: 
10.1242/dev.040972
Abstract
Skeletal muscles exert diverse functions, enabling both crushing with great force
and movement with exquisite precision. A remarkably distinct repertoire of genes 
and ontological features characterise this tissue, and recent evidence has shown 
that skeletal muscles of the head, the craniofacial muscles, are evolutionarily, 
morphologically and molecularly distinct from those of the trunk. Here, we review
the molecular basis of craniofacial muscle development and discuss how this
process is different to trunk and limb muscle development. Through evolutionary
comparisons of primitive chordates (such as amphioxus) and jawless vertebrates
(such as lampreys) with jawed vertebrates, we also provide some clues as to how
this dichotomy arose.