Recent advances in understanding contextual TGFβ signaling.
Authors: Ayyaz A, Attisano L, Wrana JL
The appearance of the first animal species on earth coincides with the emergence of transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) pathways. The evolution of these animals into more complex organisms coincides with a progressively increased TGFβ repertoire through gene duplications and divergence, making secreted TGFβ molecules the largest family of morphogenetic proteins in humans. It is therefore not surprising that TGFβ pathways govern numerous aspects of human biology from early embryonic development to regeneration, hematopoiesis, neurogenesis, and immunity. Such heavy reliance on these pathways is reflected in the susceptibility to minor perturbations in pathway components that can lead to dysregulated signaling and a diverse range of human pathologies such as cancer, fibrosis, and developmental disorders. Attempts to comprehensively resolve these signaling cascades are complicated by the long-recognized paradoxical role the pathway plays in cell biology. Recently, several groups have probed examples of the disparate aspects of TGFβ biology in a variety of animal models and uncovered novel context-dependent regulatory mechanisms. Here, we briefly review recent advancements and discuss their overall impact in directing future TGFβ research.
PMID: 28649369 [PubMed - in process]