RECENT RESEARCH ON THE GROWTH PLATE: Advances in fibroblast growth factor signaling in growth plate development and disorders

    1. Lin Chen
    1. Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Center of Bone Metabolism and Repair, Trauma Center, State Key Laboratory of Trauma, Burns and Combined Injury, Institute of Surgery Research, Daping Hospital, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing 400042, China
    1. Correspondence should be addressed to X Du or L Chen; Email: DXL_xiaolan{at} or linchen70{at}


    Skeletons are formed through two distinct developmental actions, intramembranous ossification and endochondral ossification. During embryonic development, most bone is formed by endochondral ossification. The growth plate is the developmental center for endochondral ossification. Multiple signaling pathways participate in the regulation of endochondral ossification. Fibroblast growth factor (FGF)/FGF receptor (FGFR) signaling has been found to play a vital role in the development and maintenance of growth plates. Missense mutations in FGFs and FGFRs can cause multiple genetic skeletal diseases with disordered endochondral ossification. Clarifying the molecular mechanisms of FGFs/FGFRs signaling in skeletal development and genetic skeletal diseases will have implications for the development of therapies for FGF-signaling-related skeletal dysplasias and growth plate injuries. In this review, we summarize the recent advances in elucidating the role of FGFs/FGFRs signaling in growth plate development, genetic skeletal disorders, and the promising therapies for those genetic skeletal diseases resulting from FGFs/FGFRs dysfunction. Finally, we also examine the potential important research in this field in the future.

    • Revision received 13 June 2014
    • Accepted 10 July 2014
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