The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 63: 171 - 186 (2019)

Vol 63, Issue 3-4-5

Special Issue: Early mammalian development

FGF/ERK signaling pathway: how it operates in mammalian preimplantation embryos and embryo-derived stem cells

Published: 16 April 2019

Anna Soszyńska, Katarzyna Klimczewska and Aneta Suwińska*

Department of Embryology, Faculty of Biology, University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland


The integration of extracellular signals and lineage-specific transcription factors allows cells to react flexibly to their environment, thus endowing the mammalian embryo with the capacity of regulative development. The combination of genetic and pharmacological tools allowing disruption of the fibroblast growth factor / extracellular signal-regulated kinase (FGF/ERK) pathway, together with animal models expressing lineage-specific reporters provided new insights into the role of this signaling cascade during mammalian development, as well as in embryo-derived stem cells. Here, we combine current knowledge acquired from different mammalian models to consider the universality of this cascade in specifying cellular fate across mammalian species.


FGF4, ERK, preimplantation embryo, blastocyst, epiblast, primitive endoderm

Full text in web format is not available for this article. Please download the PDF version.