Production, isolation, and structural analysis of ligands and receptors of the TGF-β superfamily

Tao Huang, Andrew P. Hinck

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

16 Scopus citations


The ability to understand the molecular mechanisms by which secreted signaling proteins of the TGF-β superfamily assemble their cell surface receptors into complexes to initiate downstream signaling is dependent upon the ability to determine atomic-resolution structures of the signaling proteins, the ectodomains of the receptors, and the complexes that they form. The structures determined to date have revealed major differences in the overall architecture of the signaling complexes formed by the TGF-βs and BMPs, which has provided insights as to how they have evolved to fulfill their distinct functions. Such studies, have however, only been applied to a few members of the TGF-β superfamily, which is largely due to the difficulty of obtaining milligram-scale quantities of highly homogenous preparations of the disulfide-rich signaling proteins and receptor ectodomains of the superfamily. Here we describe methods used to produce signaling proteins and receptor ectodomains of the TGF-β superfamily using bacterial and mammalian expression systems and procedures to purify them to homogeneity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMethods in Molecular Biology
PublisherHumana Press
Number of pages30
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)1064-3745


  • Ligand and receptor
  • Protein expression
  • Protein purification
  • Structural analysis
  • TGF-β

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

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