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Smad4 (DPC4) - a potent tumour suppressor?


The recently described family of Smad molecules are essential mediators of transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) signalling. To date, seven members of this family have been identified, each of which plays a specific and separate role in mediating TGF-beta superfamily gene transcription. At least two different Smads, Smad2 and Smad4 (DPC4), have been implicated in human cancer and appear to have tumour-suppressor functions. Loss of function of Smad4 is most strongly associated with human pancreatic and colorectal malignancy. Furthermore, work from several different groups has suggested associations between Smad4 loss and malignancy in a number of other tissues. Here, we present a review of the current state of the literature implicating the central Smad mediator, Smad4, in the development of cancer.

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Duff, E., Clarke, A. Smad4 (DPC4) - a potent tumour suppressor?. Br J Cancer 78, 1615–1619 (1998).

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