FGF Signalling in Vertebrate Development

FGF Signalling in Vertebrate Development

Mary Elizabeth Pownall, Harry Isaacs
ISBN: 9781615040636 | PDF ISBN: 9781615040643
Copyright © 2010 | 75 Pages | Publication Date: 01/01/2010

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The fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) represent one of the relatively few families of extracellular signalling peptides that have been shown in recent decades to be key regulators of metazoan development. FGFs are required for multiple processes in both protostome and deuterostome groups. Given the wide range of regulatory roles attributed to the FGFs, it is perhaps not surprising that misregulation of this signalling pathway has been implicated in a number of human disease conditions. The focus of the present review is to look at the fundamental components of the FGF pathway and illustrate how this highly conserved regulatory cassette has been deployed to regulate multiple, diverse processes during vertebrate development. This review will explore examples from several vertebrate model organisms and include discussions of the role of FGF signalling in regulating the establishment of the mesoderm, neural patterning, morphogenesis, myogenesis, limb development, and the establishment of right-left asymmetry.

Table of Contents

FGF Ligands
FGF Receptors
Heparan Sulphate Proteoglycans
FGF Signal Transduction
Integration with Other Signalling Pathways
Mesoderm Induction
Neural Induction
FGF Signalling and Posterior Neural Patterning
FGF Signalling at the Isthmic Organizer
FGF Signalling at the Anterior Neural Ridge
FGF and Myogenesis
Limb Development
FGF and Left-Right Asymmetry
About the Authors

About the Author(s)

Mary Elizabeth Pownall, University of York
Dr. M. E. Pownall and Dr. H. V. Isaacs have been running independent research groups in the Biology Department at the University of York in the UK since 1999. Dr. Pownall did her graduate work at the University of Virginia with Prof. Charles P. Emerson, Jr., where she cloned and characterized quail orthologues of newly identified myogenic regulatory factors. From there, she went on to do postdoctoral work with Prof. Jonathan Slack in Oxford where her interest in FGF signaling and training in amphibian embryology began. Dr. Isaacs also trained and worked in the Slack lab and was involved in the very early studies that involved purifying FGF protein from bovine brains. During their time together in the Slack lab, they identified an autoregulatory loop of FGF4 and Brachyury that maintains the mesoderm, and they began to elucidate a role for FGF in posteriorizing the early embryonic axis. Currently, both research groups are working to understand the regulation of FGF signalling and to characterize genes that are activated downstream of FGF during early amphibian development. The authors also share an interest in the well-being of their two children and large golden retriever.

Harry Isaacs, University of York

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