Involvement of the neuregulins and their receptors in cardiac and neural development

Bioessays. 1996 Apr;18(4):263-6. doi: 10.1002/bies.950180403.


The neuregulin gene encodes a series of polypeptide growth factors that can influence the growth state of target vertebrate cells in culture. Recently, three studies have explored the in vivo function of the neuregulin signaling system in mice by disrupting the genes encoding the neuregulin ligand(1) and two of its receptors, ErbB2(2) and ErbB4(3). Each of the genes is essential for development, and aberrations in cardiac and neural development are particularly prominent in mutant embryos. The observed defects, together with the localization of expression of the neuregulin signaling components within these tissues, highlight a paracrine mechanism for neuregulin-mediated intercellular communication.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Endocardium / metabolism
  • ErbB Receptors / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental / genetics
  • Glycoproteins / chemistry
  • Glycoproteins / metabolism*
  • Growth Substances / chemistry
  • Growth Substances / metabolism
  • Heart / embryology
  • Heart / growth & development*
  • Mice
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Myocardium / metabolism
  • Neuregulins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / metabolism*
  • Receptor, ErbB-3
  • Receptor, ErbB-4
  • Signal Transduction / genetics


  • Glycoproteins
  • Growth Substances
  • Neuregulins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • ErbB Receptors
  • Erbb4 protein, mouse
  • Receptor, ErbB-3
  • Receptor, ErbB-4