Review of the activation of TGF-beta in immunity

J Leukoc Biol. 2009 Jan;85(1):29-33. doi: 10.1189/jlb.0708415. Epub 2008 Sep 25.


The evolutionarily conserved TGF-beta proteins are distributed ubiquitously throughout the body and have a role in almost every biological process. In immunity, TGF-beta has an important role in modulating immunity. Much is understood about the process of TGF-beta production as a latent molecule and of the consequences and the intercellular signaling of active TGF-beta binding to its receptors; however, there is little discussed between the production and activation of TGF-beta. This review focuses on what is understood about the biochemical and physiological processes of TGF-beta activation and identifies the gaps in understanding immune cell activation of TGF-beta. A mechanistic understanding of the process activating TGF-beta can lead to regulating multiple biological systems by enhancing or inhibiting TGF-beta activation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Immunity / physiology*
  • Organ Specificity
  • Receptors, Transforming Growth Factor beta / physiology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / immunology
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / physiology*


  • Receptors, Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta