The switch between the cell cycle and the progress of differentiation in developmental pathways is prevalent throughout the eukaryotes in all major cell lineages. Disruptions to the molecular signals regulating the switch between proliferative and differentiating states are severe, often resulting in cancer formation (uncontrolled proliferation) or major developmental disorders. Uncontrolled proliferation and developmental disorders are potentially lethal defects in the developing animal. Therefore, natural selection would likely favor a tightly controlled regulatory mechanism to help prevent these fundamental defects. Although selection is usually thought of as a consequence of environmental or ecological influences, in this case the selective force to maintain this molecular switch is internal, manifested as a potentially lethal developmental defect. The morphogenetic consequences of this prevalent, deeply embedded, and tightly controlled mechanistic switch are currently unexplored, however experimental and correlative evidence from several sources suggest that there are important consequences on the control of growth rates and developmental rates in organs and in the whole animal. These observations lead one to consider the possibility of a developmental constraint on ontogenetic rates and morphological evolution maintained by natural selection against cancer and other embryonic lethal defects.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 57 • No. 5