From wavy hair to naked proteins: the role of transforming growth factor alpha in health and disease

Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2014 Apr;28:12-21. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2014.03.003. Epub 2014 Mar 12.


Since its discovery in 1978 and cloning in 1984, transforming growth factor-alpha (TGF-α, TGFA) has been one of the most extensively studied EGF receptor (EGFR) ligands. In this review, we provide a historical perspective on TGFA-related studies, highlighting what we consider important advances related to its function in normal and disease states.

Keywords: Autocrine singaling; Basolateral trafficking; EGFR, epidermal growth factor receptor; Ménétrier's disease; Polarized epithelial cells; TGFA, transforming growth factor alpha.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • EGF Family of Proteins / metabolism*
  • Epidermal Growth Factor / metabolism*
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism
  • Hair / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Transforming Growth Factor alpha / genetics
  • Transforming Growth Factor alpha / metabolism*


  • EGF Family of Proteins
  • Transforming Growth Factor alpha
  • Epidermal Growth Factor