Growth Factors as Regulators of Mammalian Preimplantation Embryo Development

  • Bernd Fischer
Part of the Serono Symposia, USA Norwell, Massachusetts book series (SERONOSYMP)


Low-molecular weight peptides with a wide range of different actions are collectively called growth factors (GF). Their biological action is multifunctional (1, 2). Based on structural homology and shared receptor binding activity, GF are grouped into families, such as the epidermal growth factor (EGF), insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGF), transforming growth factor ß (TGFß), fibroblast growth factor (FGF), and platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) families (3). Binding of a GF to its cell surface receptor initiates, via activation of second messengers, cellular responses related either to cell proliferation (growth) or to cell differentiation. GF mainly act locally by paracrine or autocrine mechanisms. Oncogenes can be part of the intracellular signal transduction (reviewed in 4, 5). The exact mechanisms and substances involved in the signaling process and function, however, are still unknown.


Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Preimplantation Embryo Growth Factor Action Preimplantation Development Peptide Growth Factor 
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© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1993

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  • Bernd Fischer

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