Sonic hedgehog has received an enormous amount of attention since its role as a morphogen that directs ventral patterning in the spinal cord was discovered a decade ago. Since that time, a bewildering array of information has been generated concerning both the components of the hedgehog signalling pathway and the remarkable number of contexts in which it functions. Nowhere is this more evident than in the nervous system, where hedgehog signalling has been implicated in events as disparate as axonal guidance and stem cell maintenance. Here we review our present knowledge of the hedgehog signalling pathway and speculate about areas in which further insights into this versatile pathway might be forthcoming.
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