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Receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) transmit intercellular signals that control many cellular events including proliferation, differentiation and cell survival. Ligand-bound RTKs regulate a complex network of intracellular signalling pathways. However, activation of just one of these pathways, which involves Ras and MAP kinase, is both necessary and sufficient to mediate the diverse developmental effects of several invertebrate RTKs. This article discusses these findings, which suggest that RTK-induced activation of MAP kinase in invertebrates acts as a simple developmental switch in multiple cell types, and considers the evidence that the Ras-MAP-kinase pathway also plays a similar role in vertebrates. © 1994.

Original publication




Journal article


Trends in Cell Biology

Publication Date





409 - 414