The role of tgf-beta

Transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) plays an important role in key biological processes such as cell proliferation, cell differentiation, immune response and tissue modeling. Because TGF-β is chronically elevated in many diseases, including ophthalmic and fibrotic diseases and cancer, and involved in their pathophysiology, it is an extremely versatile drug target throughout the body.

In ophthalmology, certain gene variants affecting the TGF-β pathway are expected to lead to a higher risk for patients to suffer from more severe forms AMD during their lifetime, which suggests that TGF-beta might contribute to disease progression.

In oncology, TGF-beta is postulated to have both a tumor suppressor role and can act as a pro-oncogenic factor depending on disease progression. Because of this dual role, members of the TGF-beta signaling pathway are being considered as predictive biomarkers for progressive tumorigenesis, as well as molecular targets for prevention and treatment of cancer and metastasis.