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Science 310 (5745): 68-71

Copyright © 2005 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Transforming Growth Factor-ß Signaling in Stem Cells and Cancer

Lopa Mishra,1,3* Rik Derynck,4 Bibhuti Mishra2

Abstract: Transforming growth factor–ß (TGF-ß) and TGF-ß–related proteins, such as the bone morphogenetic proteins, have emerged as key regulators of stem cell renewal and differentiation. These proteins have disparate roles in regulating the biology of embryonic stem cells and tumor suppression, and they help define the selection of cell fate and the progression of differentiation along a lineage. Here we illustrate their roles in embryonic stem cells and in the differentiation of neural, hematopoietic, mesenchymal, and gastrointestinal epithelial stem cells.

1 Cancer Genetics and Digestive Diseases, Medicine & Lombardi Cancer Center, Georgetown University, Washington, DC 20007, USA.
2 Laboratory of CNS Development, Department of Surgery, Medicine & Lombardi Cancer Center, Georgetown University, Washington, DC 20007, USA.
3 Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington, DC 20049, USA.
4 Departments of Cell and Tissue Biology and Anatomy, Programs in Cell Biology and Developmental Biology, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.

* To whom correspondence should be addressed at Georgetown University Medical/Dental Building, NW 212, 3900 Reservoir Road, N.W., Washington DC 20007, USA. E-mail: lm229{at}; lopamishra{at}

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