We are studying the mechanisms by which cells elaborate their differentiated morphologies. Here we discuss one aspect of this issue: the specification of the detailed shape of individual cells. We describe an experimental system in which endogenous determinants of morphology are expressed. These determinants originally were detected in the morphological relationships between sister neuroblastoma cells. Approaches to analyzing these relationships are presented. The properties and behavior of the endogenous determinants have been partially characterized by further experiments, which are also described. The significance and the prospects for further analysis of our findings are discussed.
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