TGF-beta signaling in vascular biology and dysfunction

Cell Res. 2009 Jan;19(1):116-27. doi: 10.1038/cr.2008.326.


Transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta family members are multifunctional cytokines that elicit their effects on cells, including endothelial and mural cells, via specific type I and type II serine/threonine kinase receptors and intracellular Smad transcription factors. Knock-out mouse models for TGF-beta family signaling pathway components have revealed their critical importance in proper yolk sac angiogenesis. Genetic studies in humans have linked mutations in these signaling components to specific cardiovascular syndromes such as hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia, primary pulmonary hypertension and Marfan syndrome. In this review, we present recent advances in our understanding of the role of TGF-beta receptor signaling in vascular biology and disease, and discuss how this may be applied for therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins / physiology
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / etiology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic*
  • Receptors, Transforming Growth Factor beta / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Smad Proteins / physiology
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / physiology*


  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins
  • Receptors, Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Smad Proteins
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta