A Multidisciplinary Review of the Roles of Cripto in the Scientific Literature Through a Bibliometric Analysis of its Biological Roles

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Cripto is a small glycosylphosphatidylinisitol (GPI)-anchored and secreted oncofetal protein that plays important roles in regulating normal physiological processes, including stem cell differentiation, embryonal development, and tissue growth and remodeling, as well as pathological processes such as tumor initiation and progression. Cripto functions as a co-receptor for TGF-β ligands such as Nodal, GDF1, and GDF3. Soluble and secreted forms of Cripto also exhibit growth factor-like activity and activate SRC/MAPK/PI3K/AKT pathways. Glucose-Regulated Protein 78 kDa (GRP78) binds Cripto at the cell surface and has been shown to be required for Cripto signaling via both TGF-β and SRC/MAPK/PI3K/AKT pathways. To provide a comprehensive overview of the scientific literature related to Cripto, we performed, for the first time, a bibliometric analysis of the biological roles of Cripto as reported in the scientific literature covering the last 10 years. We present different fields of knowledge in comprehensive areas of research on Cripto, ranging from basic to translational research, using a keyword-driven approach. Our ultimate aim is to aid the scientific community in conducting targeted research by identifying areas where research has been conducted so far and, perhaps more importantly, where critical knowledge is still missing.