Transforming growth factor β signaling mediators and modulators

Cole M. Zimmerman, Richard W. Padgett

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

146 Scopus citations


Transforming growth factor β is a multi-functional growth and differentiation factor responsible for regulating many diverse biological processes in both vertebrate and invertebrate species. Among the most dramatic of TGFβ's effects are those associated with specification of cell fates during development and inhibition of cell cycle progression. The core TGFβ signaling pathway has now been described using a synergistic combination of genetic and biochemical approaches. Transmembrane receptors with intrinsic protein serine kinase activity bind ligand in the extracellular milieu and then phosphorylate intracellular proteins known as Smads. Phosphorylated Smads form heterooligomers and translocate into the nucleus where they can modulate transcriptional responses. More recent studies indicate that many other proteins serve as modulators of Smad activity, and utimately define specific cellular responses to TGFβ. Here we describe both the simplistic core TGFβ signaling pathway and the growing number of proteins that impinge on this pathway at the level of Smad function to either enhance or inhibit TGFβ responses Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-30
Number of pages14
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - May 16 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


  • Receptor serine kinases
  • Signal transduction
  • Smads
  • Transcription factors
  • Tumor suppressors


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