Renal development: perspectives on a Wnt-dependent process

Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2003 Aug;14(4):201-8. doi: 10.1016/s1084-9521(03)00022-3.


Specification of embryonic progenitors to generate the branched collecting duct system and tubular epithelia of the nephron in the metanephros is mediated by families of soluble factors that cooperate to regulate morphogenesis. These include multiple members of the FGF, TGF-beta, and Wnt families; however, the complexity of interactions through cell-cell and extracellular matrix-mediated contacts, the redundancy of factors involved, and multiplicity of cooperative signaling mechanisms limit our understanding of events responsible for this development. With available in vitro and targeted mutagenesis models, we are now beginning to comprehend how the secreted inductive proteins and associated transcription factors direct competent cells to produce a functional filtering tubular epithelium and its tightly integrated vascular network.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Communication
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Kidney / embryology*
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Models, Biological
  • Mutagenesis
  • Mutagenesis, Site-Directed
  • Nephrons / embryology*
  • Nephrons / metabolism
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / metabolism*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Time Factors
  • Ureter / metabolism
  • Wnt Proteins
  • Zebrafish Proteins*


  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Wnt Proteins
  • Zebrafish Proteins
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors