Combinatorial codes in signaling and synergy: lessons from pituitary development

Curr Opin Genet Dev. 1999 Oct;9(5):566-74. doi: 10.1016/s0959-437x(99)00015-5.


The development of the hormone-secreting cell types in the pituitary gland provides an excellent model system in which to explore the complex transcriptional mechanisms underlying the specification and maintenance of differentiated cell types in mammalian organogenesis. Pituitary development is orchestrated through the combinatorial actions of a repertoire of signaling-gradient-induced transcription factors which, on the basis of their distinct and overlapping expression patterns, and functional interactions, ultimately has led to the generation of functionally distinct cell phenotypes from a common ectodermal primordium.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drosophila / embryology*
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development
  • Homeodomain Proteins / metabolism
  • Pituitary Gland / cytology
  • Pituitary Gland / embryology
  • Pituitary Gland / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism


  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Transcription Factors