Fibroblast growth factor signaling controlling osteoblast differentiation

Gene. 2003 Oct 16;316:23-32. doi: 10.1016/s0378-1119(03)00748-0.


Fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) play important roles in skeletal development and postnatal osteogenesis. FGF signaling controls bone formation by regulating the expression of various genes involved in osteoprogenitor cell replication, osteoblast differentiation and apoptosis. Recent genetic manipulation of FGF expression in mice and studies of the phenotype induced by gain-of-function mutations in FGF receptors in humans revealed the important role of FGF signaling in osteoblast function and differentiation. Additionally, cell biology studies allowed to identify some signaling pathways that are involved in the control of FGF actions in osteoblasts. This led to a better understanding of the functional role of FGF signaling in the control of gene expression in osteoblasts. The elucidation of molecular mechanisms by which FGF signaling promotes osteoblast gene expression and differentiation may help to find novel molecular targets and develop new therapeutic approaches to promote bone formation in human bone disorders.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Differentiation / genetics*
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • Models, Genetic
  • Osteoblasts / cytology
  • Osteoblasts / metabolism*
  • Protein Binding
  • Receptors, Fibroblast Growth Factor / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / genetics*


  • Receptors, Fibroblast Growth Factor
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors