Role of growth differentiation factor 11 in development, physiology and disease

Yonghui Zhang, Yong Wei, Dan Liu, Feng Liu, Xiaoshan Li, Lianhong Pan, Yi Pang and Dilong Chen _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:81604-81616. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.20258

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Yonghui Zhang1,2, Yong Wei3, Dan Liu1,2, Feng Liu2, Xiaoshan Li1,2, Lianhong Pan2, Yi Pang2 and Dilong Chen2

1Department of Basic Medical Science, Chongqing Three Gorges Medical College, Chongqing, China

2Chongqing Engineering Research Center of Antitumor Natural Drugs, Chongqing, China

3College of Electronic and Information Engineering, Chongqing Three Gorges University, Chongqing, China

Correspondence to:

Dilong Chen, email: [email protected]

Keywords: GDF11, signaling, function

Received: November 30, 2016     Accepted: July 28, 2017     Published: August 14, 2017


Growth differentiation factor (GDF11) is a member of TGF-β/BMP superfamily that activates Smad and non-Smad signaling pathways and regulates expression of its target nuclear genes. Since its discovery in 1999, studies have shown the involvement of GDF11 in normal physiological processes, such as embryonic development and erythropoiesis, as well as in the pathophysiology of aging, cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, and cancer. In addition, there are contradictory reports regarding the role of GDF11 in aging, cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, osteogenesis, skeletal muscle development, and neurogenesis. In this review, we describe the GDF11 signaling pathway and its potential role in development, physiology and disease.

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