TGF-beta signal transduction

Annu Rev Biochem. 1998:67:753-91. doi: 10.1146/annurev.biochem.67.1.753.


The transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) family of growth factors control the development and homeostasis of most tissues in metazoan organisms. Work over the past few years has led to the elucidation of a TGF-beta signal transduction network. This network involves receptor serine/threonine kinases at the cell surface and their substrates, the SMAD proteins, which move into the nucleus, where they activate target gene transcription in association with DNA-binding partners. Distinct repertoires of receptors, SMAD proteins, and DNA-binding partners seemingly underlie, in a cell-specific manner, the multifunctional nature of TGF-beta and related factors. Mutations in these pathways are the cause of various forms of human cancer and developmental disorders.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biological Transport
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Genetic Diseases, Inborn / etiology
  • Genetic Diseases, Inborn / genetics
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / etiology
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism
  • Receptors, Transforming Growth Factor beta / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • Smad1 Protein
  • Trans-Activators / metabolism
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / classification
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / metabolism*


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Receptors, Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • SMAD1 protein, human
  • Smad1 Protein
  • Trans-Activators
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases