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      Specificity, versatility, and control of TGF-β family signaling

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      Science Signaling

      American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

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          Abstract

          Encoded in mammalian cells by 33 genes, the transforming growth factor–β (TGF-β) family of secreted, homodimeric and heterodimeric proteins controls the differentiation of most, if not all, cell lineages and many aspects of cell and tissue physiology in multicellular eukaryotes. Deregulation of TGF-β family signaling leads to developmental anomalies and disease, whereas enhanced TGF-β signaling contributes to cancer and fibrosis. Here, we review the fundamentals of the signaling mechanisms that are initiated upon TGF-β ligand binding to its cell surface receptors and the dependence of the signaling responses on input from and cooperation with other signaling pathways. We discuss how cells exquisitely control the functional presentation and activation of heteromeric receptor complexes of transmembrane, dual-specificity kinases and, thus, define their context-dependent responsiveness to ligands. We also introduce the mechanisms through which proteins called Smads act as intracellular effectors of ligand-induced gene expression responses and show that the specificity and impressive versatility of Smad signaling depend on cross-talk from other pathways. Last, we discuss how non-Smad signaling mechanisms, initiated by distinct ligand-activated receptor complexes, complement Smad signaling and thus contribute to cellular responses.

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          Most cited references 334

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          Molecular mechanisms of epithelial-mesenchymal transition.

          The transdifferentiation of epithelial cells into motile mesenchymal cells, a process known as epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), is integral in development, wound healing and stem cell behaviour, and contributes pathologically to fibrosis and cancer progression. This switch in cell differentiation and behaviour is mediated by key transcription factors, including SNAIL, zinc-finger E-box-binding (ZEB) and basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors, the functions of which are finely regulated at the transcriptional, translational and post-translational levels. The reprogramming of gene expression during EMT, as well as non-transcriptional changes, are initiated and controlled by signalling pathways that respond to extracellular cues. Among these, transforming growth factor-β (TGFβ) family signalling has a predominant role; however, the convergence of signalling pathways is essential for EMT.
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            The protein kinase complement of the human genome.

            We have catalogued the protein kinase complement of the human genome (the "kinome") using public and proprietary genomic, complementary DNA, and expressed sequence tag (EST) sequences. This provides a starting point for comprehensive analysis of protein phosphorylation in normal and disease states, as well as a detailed view of the current state of human genome analysis through a focus on one large gene family. We identify 518 putative protein kinase genes, of which 71 have not previously been reported or described as kinases, and we extend or correct the protein sequences of 56 more kinases. New genes include members of well-studied families as well as previously unidentified families, some of which are conserved in model organisms. Classification and comparison with model organism kinomes identified orthologous groups and highlighted expansions specific to human and other lineages. We also identified 106 protein kinase pseudogenes. Chromosomal mapping revealed several small clusters of kinase genes and revealed that 244 kinases map to disease loci or cancer amplicons.
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              TGFbeta in Cancer.

              The transforming growth factor beta (TGFbeta) signaling pathway is a key player in metazoan biology, and its misregulation can result in tumor development. The regulatory cytokine TGFbeta exerts tumor-suppressive effects that cancer cells must elude for malignant evolution. Yet, paradoxically, TGFbeta also modulates processes such as cell invasion, immune regulation, and microenvironment modification that cancer cells may exploit to their advantage. Consequently, the output of a TGFbeta response is highly contextual throughout development, across different tissues, and also in cancer. The mechanistic basis and clinical relevance of TGFbeta's role in cancer is becoming increasingly clear, paving the way for a better understanding of the complexity and therapeutic potential of this pathway.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Science Signaling
                Sci. Signal.
                American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
                1945-0877
                1937-9145
                February 26 2019
                February 26 2019
                February 26 2019
                February 26 2019
                : 12
                : 570
                : eaav5183
                Article
                10.1126/scisignal.aav5183
                © 2019

                http://www.sciencemag.org/about/science-licenses-journal-article-reuse

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