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Gene Review

GDF3  -  growth differentiation factor 3

Homo sapiens

Synonyms: GDF-3, Growth/differentiation factor 3, KFS3, MCOP7, MCOPCB6, ...
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Disease relevance of GDF3


High impact information on GDF3

  • Human growth-differentiation factor 3 (hGDF3): developmental regulation in human teratocarcinoma cell lines and expression in primary testicular germ cell tumours [3].
  • We have also mapped the hGDF3 locus to the short arm of human chromosome 12, a region consistently overrepresented in human testicular germ cell tumours [3].
  • Interestingly, present work indicated that GDF3/Gdf3 genes were expressed in cerebral cortex, hippocampus as well as in cerebellum, as revealed by RT-PCR, in situ hybridization and immunostaining [4].
  • Notably, human STELLAR is located distal to a previously uncharacterized homeobox gene, which is the human homolog of the recently identified murine gene, Nanog, and proximal to the GDF3 locus, whose transcription is restricted to germ cell tumor cells [1].
  • While Levine and Brivanlou found that GDF-3 inhibits its own subfamily members (the BMPs), Chen and colleagues found that GDF-3 acts as a nodal-like TGF-beta ligand [5].

Anatomical context of GDF3


Other interactions of GDF3

  • These combined findings raise the intriguing possibility that GDF-3 acts as a bi-functional protein, to regulate the balance between the two modes of TGF-beta signaling [5].


  1. Human STELLAR, NANOG, and GDF3 genes are expressed in pluripotent cells and map to chromosome 12p13, a hotspot for teratocarcinoma. Clark, A.T., Rodriguez, R.T., Bodnar, M.S., Abeyta, M.J., Cedars, M.I., Turek, P.J., Firpo, M.T., Reijo Pera, R.A. Stem Cells (2004) [Pubmed]
  2. Human embryonic stem cell genes OCT4, NANOG, STELLAR, and GDF3 are expressed in both seminoma and breast carcinoma. Ezeh, U.I., Turek, P.J., Reijo, R.A., Clark, A.T. Cancer (2005) [Pubmed]
  3. Human growth-differentiation factor 3 (hGDF3): developmental regulation in human teratocarcinoma cell lines and expression in primary testicular germ cell tumours. Caricasole, A.A., van Schaik, R.H., Zeinstra, L.M., Wierikx, C.D., van Gurp, R.J., van den Pol, M., Looijenga, L.H., Oosterhuis, J.W., Pera, M.F., Ward, A., de Bruijn, D., Kramer, P., de Jong, F.H., van den Eijnden-van Raaij, A.J. Oncogene (1998) [Pubmed]
  4. Expression pattern of growth/differentiation factor 3 in human and murine cerebral cortex, hippocampus as well as cerebellum. Hexige, S., Guo, J., Ma, L., Sun, Y., Liu, X., Ma, L., Yan, X., Li, Z., Yu, L. Neurosci. Lett. (2005) [Pubmed]
  5. GDF3 at the crossroads of TGF-beta signaling. Levine, A.J., Brivanlou, A.H. Cell Cycle (2006) [Pubmed]
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