growth differentiation factor 3
GDF3 is a secreted ligand of the TGF-beta (transforming growth factor-beta) superfamily of proteins. Ligands of this family bind various TGF-beta receptors leading to recruitment and activation of SMAD family transcription factors that regulate gene expression. The encoded preproprotein is proteolytically processed to generate each subunit of the disulfide-linked homodimer. This protein plays a role ocular and skeletal development. Mutations in this gene are associated with microphthalmia, coloboma, and skeletal abnormalities in human patients.