From white spots to stem cells: the role of the Kit receptor in mammalian development

Trends Genet. 1993 Aug;9(8):285-90. doi: 10.1016/0168-9525(93)90015-a.


The Kit tyrosine kinase membrane receptor is essential for melanogenesis, gametogenesis and hematopoiesis during embryonic development and postnatal life. This review summarizes the genetic evidence implicating Kit and its ligand, Steel factor, in the control of stem cell proliferation, migration and survival, with emphasis on mutations in the human and mouse genes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development / genetics
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development / physiology*
  • Hematopoietic Cell Growth Factors / physiology
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / genetics
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / physiology*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / physiology*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-kit
  • Receptors, Colony-Stimulating Factor / genetics
  • Receptors, Colony-Stimulating Factor / physiology*
  • Stem Cell Factor
  • Stem Cells / physiology


  • Hematopoietic Cell Growth Factors
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Receptors, Colony-Stimulating Factor
  • Stem Cell Factor
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-kit