Transforming Growth Factor beta Signaling in Stem Cells

Fri, 10/26/2012 - 11:46

Transforming growth factor beta (TGF beta) signaling along with its family members have been implicated in development and maintenance of various organs. Stem cells are important contributors to this process and are characterized by their ability to self-renew and to generate differentiated cells of a particular tissue. Stem cells can be classified into embryonic and somatic stem cells. Embryonic stem (ES) cells have the potential to undergo symmetrical cell divisions without differentiation producing identical cells known as self-renewal and contribute to the primary germ layers ecto, meso and endoderm a property defined as pluripotency (1).

IHC analysis of TGF beta

In contrast somatic stem cells can be identified in various adult organs and exhibit limited abilities for self-renewal and differentiation. Emergence of ES cell analogue - induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells via somatic cell reprogramming co-expressing a limited number of critical stemness-related transcriptional factors has solved the problem of obtaining patient-specific pluripotent cells, encouraging researchers to develop more specific and functional cell lineages from ES or iPS cells for broad therapeutic applications (2). Since iPS cells overcome the immunogenicity and ethical controversy of ES cells. In order to use stems cells for therapeutic applications it is essential to understand the extrinsic and intrinsic factors regulating self-renewal and differentiation of stem cells. Recent advances in stem cell research have highlighted the involvement of cancer stem cells during the formation and progression of various types of cancers (3). TGF beta signaling along with its partners Activins, SMAD’s and BMP’s influences pluripotency in humans and is an active area of research. Novus Biologicals offers an extensive collection of reagents for your stem cell research in the form of antibodies, RNAi and cell lysates.

  1. PMID: 22127250
  2. PMID: 20596917
  3. PMID: 19114993

Novus Biologicals offers TGF beta reagents for your research needs including:

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