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Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2007 Nov;8(11):857-69.

Extracellular control of TGFbeta signalling in vascular development and disease.

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  • 1Molecular Cell Biology, Leiden University Medical Center, Postbus 9600, 2300 RC Leiden, The Netherlands.


The intracellular mechanism of transforming growth factor-beta (TGFbeta) signalling via kinase receptors and SMAD effectors is firmly established, but recent studies of human cardiovascular syndromes such as Marfan syndrome and pre-eclampsia have refocused attention on the importance of regulating the availability of active extracellular TGFbeta. It seems that elastic extracellular matrix (ECM) components have a crucial role in controlling TGFbeta signalling, while soluble and membrane bound forms of TGFbeta co-receptors add further layers of regulation. Together, these extracellular interactions determine the final bioavailability of TGFbeta to vascular cells, and dysregulation is associated with an increasing number of vascular pathologies.

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