Mechanosensation is an evolutionarily ancient sensory modality seen in all main animal groups. Mechanosensation can be mediated by sensory neurons or by dedicated receptor cells that form synapses with sensory neurons. Evidence over the last 15-20 years suggests that both classes of mechanosensory cells can be specified by the atonal class of basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors. In this review we discuss recent work addressing how atonal factors specify mechanosensitive cells in vertebrates and invertebrates, and how the redeployment of these factors underlies the regeneration of mechanosensitive cells in some vertebrate groups.
|Journal||Seminars in Cell and Developmental Biology|
|Publication status||Published - 30 Mar 2013|