Int. J. Dev. Biol. 43: 681 - 691 (1999)
© UPV/EHU Press

Growth factor signalling.

S W de Laat, J Boonstra, L H Defize, W Kruijer, P T van der Saag, L G Tertoolen, E J van Zoelen and J den Hertog

Hubrecht Laboratory, Netherlands Institute for Developmental Biology, Utrecht.

ABSTRACT Signalling between cells in the developing vertebrate embryo is essential for normal embryonic development. In the mid 1970's, signal transduction research started at the Hubrecht Laboratory with special emphasis on analysis of the signalling mechanisms that direct cell proliferation and differentiation. The introduction of in vitro model systems contributed tremendously to the success of the signal transduction research at the Hubrecht Laboratory. Initially neuroblastoma cell lines, and later embryonal carcinoma and embryonal stem cells played an important role in identification of the molecular key players in developmental signalling. For instance, embryonal carcinoma cells were used to identify and characterise polypeptide growth factors. Growth factor signalling research was extended to analysis of growth factor receptor activation. Moreover, the second messenger systems that are linked to growth factor receptors were studied, as well as the nuclear responses to growth factor receptor activation. Finally, the role of growth factor signalling in differentiation was established using embryonal carcinoma cells. Here, we will review work that was characteristic for the growth factor receptor signalling research that was done at the Hubrecht Laboratory between 1980 and the early 1990's.