Antagonists of activin signaling: Mechanisms and potential biological applications

Craig A. Harrison, Peter Gray, Wylie W. Vale, David M. Robertson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

159 Citations (Scopus)


Activins are members of the transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) superfamily that control many physiological processes such as cell proliferation and differentiation, immune responses, wound repair and various endocrine activities. Activins elicit these diverse biological responses by signaling via type I and type II receptor serine kinases. Recent studies have revealed details of the roles of inhibin, betaglycan, follistatin and its related protein follistatin-related gene (FLRG), Cripto and BAMBI in antagonizing activin action, and exogenous antagonists against the activin type I (SB-431542 and SB-505124) and type II (activin-M108A) receptors have been developed. Understanding how activin signaling is controlled extracellularly is the first step in providing treatment for wound healing and for disorders such as cachexia and cancer, which result from a deregulated activin pathway.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-78
Number of pages6
JournalTrends in Endocrinology & Metabolism
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2005
Externally publishedYes

Cite this