Trefoil Factor Family (TFF)

Peptides with Numerous Functions

  • Nataša Kozina Dept of Physiology and Immunology Faculty of Medicine, University of Osijek
  • Ivana Jukić


The trefoil factor family (TFF) consists of a group of small peptides and is highly expressed in tissue that contain mucus-producing cells, predominantly in the mucosa that lines the gastrointestinal tract. Those peptides, which are highly important for epithelial restitution, may act in ways other than using the usual factors responsible for restitution. It was observed that several mechanisms are involved in the TFFs’ promotion of restitution. In addition to that, peptides have other functions as well, e.g. they interact with the immune system. Although the TFFs’ therapeutic effects have been studied, it is uncertain which of the TFFs’ in vitro properties are directly involved when it comes to their in vivo engagement. Observing mice with genetic deletion of TFF peptides can help us discover the function of the peptides that could be indicated by the deletion of the target protein or by adaptive regulation of some other protein that is affected by the deleted gene product. At the very least, a subset of functional networks controlled by a TFF isoform and its downstream effectors can be identified by observing such mice. The discoveries related to the signaling mechanisms of the TFF family leave much to discover about the distinct and shared pathways among those protective peptides.

(Kozina N, Jukić I. Trefoil Factor Family (TFF): Peptides with Numerous Functions. SEEMEDJ 2019; 3(1); 69-77)

KEYWORDS: trefoil factor family (TFF), mucus, metabolic regulation, TFF3-/-mice

Jun 4, 2019
How to Cite
KOZINA, Nataša; JUKIĆ, Ivana. Trefoil Factor Family (TFF). Southeastern European Medical Journal, [S.l.], v. 3, n. 1, p. 69-77, june 2019. ISSN 2459-9484. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 25 june 2019.