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Growth & Development

Growth & Development

A multicellular organism develops from a single cell (zygote) into a collection of cells organized into tissues and organs through cell division, cell differentiation, body axis formation, tissue and organ development. Developmental biology is a branch of life science which studies the genetic control of cell growth, differentiation, migration and survival. It also includes the investigation of processes that generate an organism's heterogeneous shapes, size, and structural features.

As a trusted CRO, CD BioSciences provides a comprehensive panel of solutions covering all aspects of life science research, including developmental biology.

Growth Development

Developmental Signaling Pathways

Development biology studies the processes by which animals and plants grow and develop, which includes cell growth, cell differentiation and morphogenesis. Knowledge of normal developmental processes can foster greater progress in the understanding of developmental abnormalities and in the treatment of congenital disorders and cancer.

Cell signaling plays a central role in modern life science research. Intercellular communications are carried out by small molecules interacting with their targets at the cell membrane followed by activation of a series of intracellular processes which eventually affect cell growth and survival. There are a limited number of key signaling pathways that operate during development, including Notch signaling pathway, TGF-β signaling pathway, Wnt signaling pathway, and Hedgehog signaling pathway.

Growth DevelopmentMajor Developmental Signaling Pathways (Li and Elowitz, 2019)

  • ErbB/HER Signaling Pathway

The ErbB family of proteins contains four cell surface receptor tyrosine kinases: the first discovered member epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)/ErbB1//HER1, ErbB2/HER2/Neu, ErbB3/HER3, and ErbB4/HER4. ErbB receptors are important for development. The ErbB receptors signal through Akt, MAPK and phospholipase C (PLCγ) to regulate cell proliferation, migration, differentiation, apoptosis and cell motility. Diseases that are associated with the malfunction of ErbB receptors include lung, breast, stomach, colorectal, head and neck, and pancreatic carcinomas and glioblastoma (a brain tumor).

  • Hedgehog Signaling Pathway

The evolutionarily conserved Hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway is essential during normal vertebrate embryonic development, as well as adult tissue maintenance, renewal and regeneration. The Hh signaling pathway also participates in tumorigenesis, progression, invasiveness, recurrence and cancer stem cell maintenance. Thus, drugs targeting The Hh signaling pathway are under active development.

  • Hippo Signaling Pathway

The Hippo signaling pathway, also known as the Salvador-Warts-Hippo (SWH) pathway, is an evolutionarily conserved signaling pathway that controls organ size from flies to humans through the regulation of cell proliferation and apoptosis. It also plays a critical role in stem cell and tissue specific progenitor cell self-renewal and expansion. In addition, perturbation of Hippo signaling pathway contributes to diseases such as cancer, excessive fibrosis, metabolic disorders and impaired immune response.  

  • Notch Signaling Pathway

The Notch receptors are single-pass transmembrane proteins, referred to as NOTCH1, NOTCH2, NOTCH3, and NOTCH4. The Notch signaling pathway is an evolutionarily conserved pathway which promotes proliferative signaling during neurogenesis and regulates neural differentiation when inhibited by Numb. It also plays a major role in cell-cell communication which is important for cell differentiation process during embryonic development.

  • TGF-β Signaling Pathway

The transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) signaling pathway plays a critical role in the regulation of cellular processes in both the adult organism and the developing embryo including cell growth, differentiation, apoptosis, cellular homeostasis. TGF-β is also a potent immune-modulatory and is implicated in many disease states, especially cancer and fibrosis.

  • Wnt Signaling Pathway

The Wnt signaling pathways are ancient and evolutionarily conserved pathways that direct cell proliferation, cell polarity, neural patterning, cell fate determination and organogenesis during embryonic development. There are three Wnt signaling pathways that have been characterized: canonical Wnt pathway (or Wnt/β-catenin pathway), the noncanonical planar cell polarity (PCP) pathway, and the noncanonical Wnt/calcium pathway, all of which are activated by the binding of a Wnt-protein ligand to a Frizzled family receptor. Various diseases including breast and prostate cancer, glioblastoma and type 2 diabetes have been demonstrated to be associated with mutations in Wnt signaling pathways.

Reference:

  • Li, P., & Elowitz, M. B. (2019). Communication codes in developmental signaling pathways. Development, 146 (12).

Solutions for Studying Developmental Signaling Pathways

Our solutions for developmental biology research include but are not limited to the following.

  • Regulator Identification

Identifying gene regulators participating in developmental signaling pathways.

  • Regulator Characterization

Studying the molecular function of certain regulators in developmental signaling pathways.

  • Mechanism Study

Investigating into the mechanism of regulation of certain regulators.

  • Phenotype Analysis

Analyzing the cellular phenotypes regulated by genes/proteins of interest.

  • Animal Model Generation

Generating genetically engineered animal models for research use.

  • Chemical Screening

Screening inhibitors or activators of certain developmental signaling pathways.

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For research use only. Not intended for any clinical use.