The Developmental Mechanics of Cell Specification - Developmental Biology - NCBI BookshelfCell differentiation may simply be described as the process through which a young and immature cell evolves in to a specialized cell, reaching its mature form and function. For such unicellular organisms like bacteria , various life functions occur within a single cell. That is, such processes as the transport of molecules, metabolism and reproduction all take place within a single cell given that they are single celled. However, multicellular organisms require different types of cells for these processes to be possible. Here, different types of cells play a specific function given that they have varied structures.
Molecular mechanism of cell differentiation and cell fates
NCBI Bookshelf. An embryo's environment may be a tide pool, a pond, or a uterus. As we saw above, the embryo interacts with its environment, and its developmental trajectory can be guided by information from its surroundings. Thus, a second research program of experimental embryology studies how interactions between embryonic cells generate the embryo. The development of specialized cell types is called differentiation Table 3. These overt changes in cellular biochemistry and function are preceded by a process involving the commitment of the cell to a certain fate.
Cellular differentiation is the process where a cell changes from one cell type to another. Differentiation occurs numerous times during the development of a multicellular organism as it changes from a simple zygote to a complex system of tissues and cell types. Differentiation continues in adulthood as adult stem cells divide and create fully differentiated daughter cells during tissue repair and during normal cell turnover. Some differentiation occurs in response to antigen exposure. Differentiation dramatically changes a cell's size, shape, membrane potential , metabolic activity , and responsiveness to signals. These changes are largely due to highly controlled modifications in gene expression and are the study of epigenetics. With a few exceptions, cellular differentiation almost never involves a change in the DNA sequence itself.