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Growth/differentiation factor 15 (GDF15) was first identified as Macrophage inhibitory cytokine-1 or MIC-1.[1]

It is a protein belonging to the transforming growth factor beta superfamily. Under normal conditions, GDF-15 is expressed in low concentrations in most organs and upregulated because of injury of organs such as such as liver, kidney, heart and lung.[2][3][4]

The function of GDF-15 is not fully cleared but it seems to have a role in regulating inflammatory pathways and to be involved in regulating apoptosis, cell repair and cell growth, which are biological processes observed in cardiovascular and neoplastic disorders.[2][5][6] GDF-15 has shown to be a strong prognostic protein in patients with different diseases such as heart diseases and cancer.[7]


  1. Bootcov MR, Bauskin AR, Valenzuela SM, Moore AG, Bansal M, He XY, et al. (October 1997). "MIC-1, a novel macrophage inhibitory cytokine, is a divergent member of the TGF-beta superfamily". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 94 (21): 11514–9. doi:10.1073/pnas.94.21.11514. PMC 23523. PMID 9326641.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Zimmers TA, Jin X, Hsiao EC, McGrath SA, Esquela AF, Koniaris LG (June 2005). "Growth differentiation factor-15/macrophage inhibitory cytokine-1 induction after kidney and lung injury". Shock. 23 (6): 543–8. PMID 15897808.
  3. Hsiao EC, Koniaris LG, Zimmers-Koniaris T, Sebald SM, Huynh TV, Lee SJ (May 2000). "Characterization of growth-differentiation factor 15, a transforming growth factor beta superfamily member induced following liver injury". Molecular and Cellular Biology. 20 (10): 3742–51. doi:10.1128/MCB.20.10.3742-3751.2000. PMC 85678. PMID 10779363.
  4. Ago T, Sadoshima J (February 2006). "GDF15, a cardioprotective TGF-beta superfamily protein". Circulation Research. 98 (3): 294–7. doi:10.1161/01.RES.0000207919.83894.9d. PMID 16484622.
  5. Wollert KC, Kempf T, Lagerqvist B, Lindahl B, Olofsson S, Allhoff T, et al. (October 2007). "Growth differentiation factor 15 for risk stratification and selection of an invasive treatment strategy in non ST-elevation acute coronary syndrome". Circulation. 116 (14): 1540–8. doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.107.697714. PMID 17848615.
  6. Kempf T, Eden M, Strelau J, Naguib M, Willenbockel C, Tongers J, Heineke J, Kotlarz D, Xu J, Molkentin JD, Niessen HW, Drexler H, Wollert KC (February 2006). "The transforming growth factor-beta superfamily member growth-differentiation factor-15 protects the heart from ischemia/reperfusion injury". Circulation Research. 98 (3): 351–60. doi:10.1161/01.RES.0000202805.73038.48. PMID 16397141.
  7. Wallentin L, Zethelius B, Berglund L, Eggers KM, Lind L, Lindahl B, Wollert KC, Siegbahn A (2013). "GDF-15 for prognostication of cardiovascular and cancer morbidity and mortality in men". PLOS One. 8 (12): e78797. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0078797. PMC 3846468. PMID 24312445.

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