TGFbeta signalling: a complex web in cancer progression

Nat Rev Cancer. 2010 Jun;10(6):415-24. doi: 10.1038/nrc2853.


The distortion of growth factor signalling is the most important prerequisite in tumour progression. Transforming growth factor-beta (TGFbeta) signalling regulates tumour progression by a tumour cell-autonomous mechanism or through tumour-stroma interaction, and has either a tumour-suppressing or tumour-promoting function depending on cellular context. Such inherent complexity of TGFbeta signalling results in arduous, but promising, assignments for developing therapeutic strategies against malignant tumours. As numerous cellular context-dependent factors tightly maintain the balance of TGFbeta signalling and contribute to the regulation of TGFbeta-induced cell responses, in this Review we discuss how they maintain the balance of TGFbeta signalling and how their collapse leads to tumour progression.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Progression*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasms / blood supply
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / genetics
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / metabolism*


  • Transforming Growth Factor beta