Scatter factor-dependent branching morphogenesis: Structural and histological features

Paolo M. Comoglio, L. Trusolino, C. Boccaccio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Branching morphogenesis is a multi-step process that controls the formation of polarised tubules starting from hollow cysts. Its execution entails a series of rate-limiting events which include reversible disruption of cell polarity, dismantling of intercellular contacts, acquisition of a motile phenotype, stimulation of cell proliferation, and final re-establishment of cell polarity for creation of the definitive structures. Branching morphogenesis takes place physiologically during development, accounting for the establishment of organs endowed with a ramified architecture such as glands, the respiratory tract and the vascular tree. In cancer, aberrant implementation of branching morphogenesis leads to deregulated proliferation, protection from apoptosis and enhanced migratory/invasive properties, which together exacerbate the aggressive features of neoplastic cells. Under both physiological and pathological conditions, branching morphogenesis is mainly accomplished by a family of growth factors known as scatter factors. In this review, we will summarise the current knowledge on the biological and functional roles of scatter factors during branching morphogenesis, with a special emphasis on the phenotypic (structural and histological) consequences of scatter factor activity in different tissues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-92
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean journal of histochemistry : EJH
Issue numberSUPPL.1
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • Branching morphogenesis
  • Cell adhesion and motility
  • Scatter factors
  • Tyrosine kinases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Histology
  • Biophysics
  • Anatomy
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Developmental Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Scatter factor-dependent branching morphogenesis: Structural and histological features'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this