Developing in a family way. Transforming Growth Factor Type beta and Related Proteins in Development: the Sixth Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology/Iowa State University Symposium, Ames, IA, USA September 20-23, 1991


Publication Type:

Journal Article


The New biologist, Volume 4, Number 2, p.127-31 (1992)


1043-4674 (Print)<br/>1043-4674 (Linking)

Accession Number:



Animals, Embryonic Induction/physiology, Gene Expression Regulation/physiology, Genes, Homeobox/physiology, Receptors, Cell Surface/physiology, Receptors, Transforming Growth Factor beta, Signal Transduction, Transcription, Genetic/genetics/physiology, Transforming Growth Factor beta/biosynthesis/genetics/*physiology


<p>We are left with the impression that members of the TGF-beta family are critically positioned in a cascade of events regulating complex developmental processes. Roberts described the TGF-betas as providing the cells with cues to their temporal positions in a developmental program, that is, telling the cells "where they were, where they are, and where they're going." The broad diversity of cellular and tissue responses to TGF-betas and the widespread expression of their receptors suggest the TGF-betas may act as a "common currency," enabling diverse cell types to communicate with each other. Other members of the family are more restricted in their expression and the expression of their receptors, and may have a more limited and well-defined developmental role. The complex regulation of the members of the TGF-beta family is consistent with their importance as directors and coordinators of complicated physiological processes such as those occurring in the development of multicellular organisms. Their expression is highly regulated at the transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels, and their localization and activation can be affected by binding proteins and matrix proteins. We still have much to learn about the receptors for this family of growth factors, but the recent cloning of the activin and TGF-beta receptors and the discovery of their enzymatic nature has dramatically opened the way for future studies to resolve the signal transduction pathway(s) used by members of this family.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)</p>


Nilsen-Hamilton, M<br/>Matrisian, L M<br/>Hamilton, R T<br/>New Biol. 1992 Feb;4(2):127-31.