Skip to main content
  • Meeting abstract
  • Open access
  • Published:

TGF-β signalling in nervous system development

Transforming growth factor betas (TGF-β) are multifunctional cytokines with widespread distribution. TGF-βs are secreted dimeric proteins that signal via aheteromeric transmembrane serine-threonine tyrosine kinase complex. Phosphorylation of receptor associated Smads leads to the formation of complexes with the common Smad4, which translocates to the nucleus to regulate as a larger transcriptional complex, immediate early gene and target gene expression. However, growing biochemical and developmental evidence supports the notion that alternative or additional, non-Smad pathways also participate in TGF-β signalling. TGF-βs are essential regulators of cellular processes including proliferation, differentiation, migration, cell survival and death during embryonic development, angiogenesis and wound healing. TGF-β actions are quite often described as opposite or distinct effects in context-dependent situations. The explanation for these data may be that TGF-β is cross-talking with numerous other signalling pathways. The presentation intends to describe the complexity of TGF-β signalling on one hand and on the other hand will focus on specific examples of TGF-β signalling during nervous system development.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Krieglstein, K. TGF-β signalling in nervous system development. Cell Commun Signal 7 (Suppl 1), A5 (2009).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • DOI: