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Growth Factors. 1990;3(4):277-86.

Mesoderm induction in Xenopus laevis distinguishes between the various TGF-beta isoforms.

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Laboratory of Chemoprevention, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892.


Induction of mesoderm in ectodermal explants of Xenopus laevis blastula embryos had previously been shown to respond selectively to TGF-beta 2, with TGF-beta s 1 and 5 having no activity in this assay. As TGF-beta s 1, 2, and 3 are frequently coexpressed in tissues, we wished to examine the activity of TGF-beta 3 relative to that of TGF-beta s 1 and 2 in this assay as well as in other in vitro assays. We report here that when the activity of recombinant TGF-beta 3 is normalized to that of TGF-beta 1 in the assay for growth inhibition in CCL-64 cells, it is also equal to that of TGF-beta 1 in assays for stimulation of both anchorage-independent growth of rat NRK cells and chemotaxis of human monocytes. In contrast, in the assay for mesoderm induction, recombinant TGF-beta 3 is 10-fold more active than TGF-beta 2, inducing expression of muscle specific alpha-actin at concentrations as low as 1 ng/ml. These results suggest that more complex systems, in contrast to individual cell types, may respond selectively to the various TGF-beta isoforms and that there might be biological consequences of TGF-beta isoform switching in vivo.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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