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Keywords:

  • prostate development;
  • androgen receptor;
  • Hox genes;
  • Nkx3.1;
  • FoxA1;
  • Notch;
  • Fgf10;
  • Shh;
  • Bmp4;
  • Bmp7;
  • TgfB1;
  • Wnt genes

Abstract Prostate gland development is a complex process that involves coordination of multiple signaling pathways including endocrine, paracrine, autocrine, juxtacrine and transcription factors. To put this into proper context, the present manuscript will begin with a brief overview of the stages of prostate development and a summary of androgenic signaling in the developing prostate, which is essential for prostate formation. This will be followed by a detailed description of other transcription factors and secreted morphogens directly involved in prostate formation and branching morphogenesis. Except where otherwise indicated, results from rodent models will be presented since studies that examine molecular signaling in the developing human prostate gland are sparse at the present time.