The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 37: 169 - 182 (1993)

Vol 37, Issue 1

Special Issue: Developmental Aspects of Neoplasia

Type beta transforming growth factors and activins in differentiating embryonal carcinoma cells, embryonic stem cells and early embryonic development

Published: 1 March 1993

C L Mummery and A J van den Eijnden-van Raaij

Hubrecht Laboratory, Netherlands Institute for Developmental Biology, Utrecht.


TGF beta was originally identified on the basis of its ability to induce phenotypic transformation of non-transformed target cells while activin was discovered as a gonadal protein. They later turned out to be related and both to have possibly crucial roles in the regulation of embryonic development. Here we review the circumstantial and direct evidence for this in the context of our own studies on their expression in and effects on murine EC and ES cells and mouse embryos. Their possible interaction in development is discussed.

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