The transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) superfamily includes TGF-β s, activin, myostatin and bone morphogenetic proteins. Misregulation of the activity of TGF-β family members is involved in pathogenesis of cancer, muscular dystrophy, obesity and bone and tooth remodeling. Natural inhibitors for the TGF-β superfamily regulate fine-tuning of activity of TGF-β family in vivo. In addition to natural inhibitors for the TGF-β family, soluble forms of receptors for the TGF-β family, blocking monoclonal antibodies and small chemical TGF-β inhibitors have been developed. In this review, we summarize recent advances in our understanding of inhibitors for the TGF-β superfamily and their medical applications.
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