Generation and interpretation of FGF morphogen gradients in vertebrates

Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2013 Aug;23(4):415-22. doi: 10.1016/j.gde.2013.03.002. Epub 2013 May 10.


Signalling via fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) is involved in multiple aspects of vertebrate development. In several instances FGFs act as morphogens, that is secreted signalling molecules that encode positional information in their graded distribution throughout their target tissue. In recent years, work in the zebrafish model system has been instrumental in addressing the cell biological basis of FGF morphogen gradient formation and interpretation. These experiments have benefitted from the optical properties of the zebrafish embryo that render this vertebrate organism particularly suited for advanced microscopic and biophysical approaches.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Endocytosis / genetics*
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Morphogenesis / genetics*
  • Receptors, Fibroblast Growth Factor / genetics
  • Receptors, Fibroblast Growth Factor / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / genetics
  • Vertebrates / genetics
  • Vertebrates / growth & development*
  • Zebrafish / growth & development


  • Receptors, Fibroblast Growth Factor
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors