Type beta transforming growth factors and activins in differentiating embryonal carcinoma cells, embryonic stem cells and early embryonic development

Int J Dev Biol. 1993 Mar;37(1):169-82.


TGF beta was originally identified on the basis of its ability to induce phenotypic transformation of non-transformed target cells while activin was discovered as a gonadal protein. They later turned out to be related and both to have possibly crucial roles in the regulation of embryonic development. Here we review the circumstantial and direct evidence for this in the context of our own studies on their expression in and effects on murine EC and ES cells and mouse embryos. Their possible interaction in development is discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Activin Receptors
  • Activins
  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Follistatin
  • Glycoproteins / analysis
  • Inhibins / analysis
  • Inhibins / metabolism
  • Inhibins / physiology*
  • Mice / embryology
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / analysis
  • Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Teratoma / chemistry*
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / metabolism
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / physiology*


  • Follistatin
  • Glycoproteins
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Activins
  • Inhibins
  • Activin Receptors