Transforming growth factor

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The transforming growth factor (abbreviation TGF , German transforming growth factor ) is a signal molecule that belongs to the cytokines . It is eponymous for the TGF signaling pathways . TGF play a very important role in embryonic development and the differentiation of cells and tissues . They are divided into different groups: the TGFα and the TGFβ.

Both groups of cytokines are not structurally related to one another, nor do they use similar signaling pathways. The naming has historical reasons.



TGFα has so far been detected in rodents and humans. It is an acid and heat-resistant protein that is 33% homologous to Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF). TGFα is produced by a wide variety of altered cells, tumors , embryonic and adult cells; it has also been detected in the urine of cancer patients. This protein has a molecular mass of 5.5  kDa . The genetic information of TGFα is encoded in chromosome 2 .


TGFβ is a highly conserved protein (M r approx. 13 kDa) that is present as a homodimer . It has so far been identified in mammals in three different types that are very similar (TGFβ 1 to 3) . The TGFβ polypeptides are multifunctional. They are able to influence cell proliferation , cell differentiation and other functions in a wide range of different cells. This includes, for example, the direct anti-inflammatory effect of TGFβ on TH1 cells. TGFβ acts through a membrane receptor with serine / threonine kinase activity. TGFβ is a local cytokine that is associated with healing processes and fibrosis of tissue and is of relevant importance in cardiac remodeling and heart failure after myocardial infarction .

TGFβ 1 - 3 is part of the parent TGFβ family, which includes other cytokines such as BMPs .

Individual evidence

  1. Masato Morikawa, Rik Derynck, Kohei Miyazono: TGF-β and the TGF-β Family: Context-Dependent Roles in Cell and Tissue Physiology . In: Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology . tape 8 , no. 5 , May 2016, ISSN  1943-0264 , p. a021873 , doi : 10.1101 / cshperspect.a021873 , PMID 27141051 , PMC 4852809 (free full text) - ( [accessed May 8, 2020]).
  2. JV Tricoli, H. Nakai et al. a .: The gene for human transforming growth factor alpha is on the short arm of chromosome 2. In: Cytogenetics and cell genetics. Volume 42, Numbers 1-2, 1986, ISSN  0301-0171 , pp. 94-98, PMID 3459638 .
  3. Abed Sallam: The inhibition of transforming growth factor (TGF) aggravates mortality and left ventricular dilatation after myocardial infarction , dissertation, University of Würzburg 2009.