NODAL is an important TGF-beta family protein in cellular differentiation. While constitutively expressed in many developing tissues, NODAL is problematically associated with the differentiation and development of many cancers. The expression of NODAL is regulated by a Notch signaling pathway, which when disrupted contributes to the aggressive behavior of metastatic cancer cells, particularly in melanoma. The abundance of NODAL expression in melanoma can help determine the stage of cancer and metastatic type/progression when tested in IHC. NODAL interactions with Cripto also predispose toward tumor progression. Overexpression of NODAL is also associated with preeclamptic placenta.
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Protein Aliases: early embryo mesoderm formation; MGC138230; Nodal; Nodal homolog; transgenic lethal 413.d
Gene Aliases: HTX5; NODAL; Tg.413d
Molecular Function: growth factor