Tumor Biology

, Volume 35, Issue 4, pp 2857–2869 | Cite as

The microRNA networks of TGFβ signaling in cancer

  • V. P. Sivadas
  • S. Kannan


In metazoans, the transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) signaling regulates a host of activities ranging from embryonic development to tissue homeostasis. The normal as well as tumor cells respond to this cytokine signaling pathway in a highly context-dependent manner. It acts as a potent tumor suppressor initially by inducing cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. But advanced tumors often misuse TGFβ signaling for tumor progression by selectively disabling the tumor suppressor arm and using other properties of TGFβ signaling such as induction of angiogenesis, epithelial to mesenchymal transition, and metastases. This dual role of TGFβ in cancer remained a mystery until recently. But recent advances in the field of microRNA provided a deeper understanding about this dual nature of TGFβ signaling in cancers. In the present review, we present an account of the role of microRNAs in deregulating TGFβ signaling and modulating cancer cell behavior during tumor initiation and cancer progression. This review also includes a discussion on the recent advances in the deregulation of TGFβ signaling in carcinogenesis.


TGFβ-SMAD signaling MicroRNA Cancer Angiogenesis Epithelial to mesenchymal transition Metastases 



The present study was financially supported by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India. Sivadas is a recipient of Senior Research Fellowship of the University Grants Commission (UGC), Government of India.

Conflicts of Interest



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Copyright information

© International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM) 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Cell Cycle Regulation & Molecular Oncology, Division of Cancer ResearchRegional Cancer CentreThiruvananthapuramIndia

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