A great deal remains to be learned about the biology of intestinal development. Using in vitro cell culture models and animal models of disease, investigators are examining how the gastrointestinal tract develops normally and how gastrointestinal diseases develop and evolve at the molecular level. Studies are providing insight into intestinal epithelial biology and mechanisms controlling the development of the enteric nervous system, which directly controls the gastrointestinal system.
ZAS3 Accentuates TGF beta Signaling in Epithelial Cells
Investigators identified an interaction between ZAS3 and Smad proteins that enhances TGF beta signaling, suggesting that ZAS3 plays a functional role in TGF beta signaling. TGF beta is a protein that controls cell proliferation in normal epithelial cells and at early stages of tumor development, including intestinal tumors.
Access an abstract of this study: ZAS3 accentuates transforming growth factor β signaling in epithelial cells. Cell Signal. 2011 Jan;23(1):105-13.