Int. J. Dev. Biol. 43: 735 - 743 (1999)
© UPV/EHU Press

Morphogenetic action of retinoids and estrogens.

B van der Burg, E Sonneveld, J G Lemmen and P T van der Saag

Hubrecht Laboratory, Netherlands Institute for Developmental Biology, Utrecht.

ABSTRACT Retinoids and estrogens are small lipophilic compounds fulfilling important biological roles in vertebrate development, reproduction and homeostasis. Both types of ligands are regulators of gene transcription by binding to (nuclear) proteins acting as ligand-activatable transcription factors, members of the nuclear receptor gene superfamily. Retinoids and their multiple receptors (RARs/RXRs) are particularly well-known for their role in early development and spermatogenesis, while much less is known about the two estrogen receptors (ERalpha/beta) during development. In this article we describe some of our previous and present work in both areas of research.