Crosstalk between TGF-β signaling and the microRNA machinery

Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2012 Jul;33(7):382-93. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2012 May 19.


The activin/transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) pathway plays an important role in tumorigenesis either by its tumor suppressor or tumor promoting effect. Loss of members of the TGF-β signaling by somatic mutations or epigenetic events, such as DNA methylation or regulation by microRNA (miRNA), may affect the signaling process. Most members of the TGF-β pathway are known to be targeted by one or more miRNAs. In addition, the biogenesis of miRNAs is also regulated by TGF-β both directly and through SMADs. Based on these interactions, it appears that autoregulatory feedback loops between TGF-β and miRNAs influence the fate of tumor cells. Our aim is to review the crosstalk between TGF-β signaling and the miRNA machinery to highlight potential novel therapeutic targets.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / metabolism
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Epigenesis, Genetic
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism*
  • Mutation
  • Signal Transduction
  • Smad Proteins / metabolism*
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / genetics
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / metabolism*


  • MicroRNAs
  • Smad Proteins
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta