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Trends Cell Biol. 2008 Sep;18(9):430-42. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2008.06.006. Epub 2008 Aug 15.

Decoding the quantitative nature of TGF-beta/Smad signaling.

Author information

1
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Colorado-Boulder, Boulder, CO 80309-0215, USA.

Abstract

How transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) signaling elicits diverse cell responses remains elusive, despite the major molecular components of the pathway being known. We contend that understanding TGF-beta biology requires mathematical models to decipher the quantitative nature of TGF-beta/Smad signaling and to account for its complexity. Here, we review mathematical models of TGF-beta superfamily signaling that predict how robustness is achieved in bone-morphogenetic-protein signaling in the Drosophila embryo, how changes in receptor-trafficking dynamics can be exploited by cancer cells and how the basic mechanisms of TGF-beta/Smad signaling conspire to promote Smad accumulation in the nucleus. These studies demonstrate the power of mathematical modeling for understanding TGF-beta biology.

PMID:
18706811
PMCID:
PMC2774497
DOI:
10.1016/j.tcb.2008.06.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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