Beyond TGFβ: roles of other TGFβ superfamily members in cancer

Nat Rev Cancer. 2013 May;13(5):328-41. doi: 10.1038/nrc3500.


Much of the focus on the transforming growth factor-β (TGFβ) superfamily in cancer has revolved around the TGFβ ligands themselves. However, it is now becoming apparent that deregulated signalling by many of the other superfamily members also has crucial roles in both the development of tumours and metastasis. Furthermore, these signalling pathways are emerging as plausible therapeutic targets. Their roles in tumorigenesis frequently reflect their function in embryonic development or in adult tissue homeostasis, and their influence extends beyond the tumours themselves, to the tumour microenvironment and more widely to complications of cancer such as cachexia and bone loss.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Embryonic Development
  • Humans
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / physiology
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • Signal Transduction*
  • TGF-beta Superfamily Proteins / physiology*
  • Tumor Microenvironment


  • TGF-beta Superfamily Proteins