Transforming growth factor beta

Syn.: TGF-β

Transforming growth factor beta is a multifunctional cytokine belonging to the transforming growth factor superfamily.

It activates different downstream substrates and regulatory proteins, inducing transcription of different target genes that function in differentiation, chemotaxis, proliferation, and activation of many immune cells.

Among its key functions is regulation of inflammatory processes, particularly in the gut. TGF-β also plays a crucial role in stem cell differentiation as well as T-cell regulation and differentiation. As such, it is a highly researched cytokine in the fields of cancer, auto-immune diseases, and infectious disease. The TGF-β superfamily includes endogenous growth inhibiting proteins; an increase in expression of TGF-β often correlates with the malignancy of many cancers and a defect in the cellular growth inhibition response to TGF-β. Its immunosuppressive functions then come to dominate, contributing to oncogenesis. The disregulation of its immunosuppressive functions is also implicated in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases, although their effect is mediated by the environment of other cytokines

In implantology it is produced from platelets and bone cells. It is used as it it known to increase the chemotaxis and mitogenesis of osteoblast precursors and to stimulate osteoblast deposition of the collagen matrix for wound healing and bone regeneration.