ABSTRACT: TGF-beta/Smads signaling plays important roles in vascular integrity. To identify potential Smad4 target genes in brain endothelial cells that control cerebrovascular integrity, the microarray assay was performed to compare the gene expression profiles of bEnd3 transfected with Smad4-siRNA and control-siRNA. bEnd3 cells were infected by Smad4-siRNA or control-siRNA retrovirus particles produced by PLAT-E packaging cells and selected by puromycin. The specific and control RNAi cells were used for RNA extraction and hybridization on Affymetrix microarrays. Two independent infections were performed and samples were pooled in order to obtain representative populations.
Project description:TGF-beta/Smads signaling plays important roles in vascular integrity. To identify potential Smad4 target genes in brain endothelial cells that control cerebrovascular integrity, the microarray assay was performed to compare the gene expression profiles of bEnd3 transfected with Smad4-siRNA and control-siRNA. bEnd3 cells were infected by Smad4-siRNA or control-siRNA retrovirus particles produced by PLAT-E packaging cells and selected by puromycin. The specific and control RNAi cells were used for RNA extraction and hybridization on Affymetrix microarrays. Two independent infections were performed and samples were pooled in order to obtain representative populations.
Project description:TGF-beta/Smads signaling plays important roles in vascular integrity. To identify potential Smad4 target genes in brain endothelial cells that control cerebrovascular integrity, the microarray assay was performed to compare the gene expression profiles of bEnd3 transfected with Smad4-siRNA and control-siRNA. Overall design: bEnd3 cells were infected by Smad4-siRNA or control-siRNA retrovirus particles produced by PLAT-E packaging cells and selected by puromycin. The specific and control RNAi cells were used for RNA extraction and hybridization on Affymetrix microarrays. Two independent infections were performed and samples were pooled in order to obtain representative populations.
Project description:The TGF-? pathway plays a vital role in development and disease and regulates transcription through a complex composed of receptor-regulated Smads (R-Smads) and Smad4. Extensive biochemical and genetic studies argue that the pathway is activated through R-Smad phosphorylation; however, the dynamics of signaling remain largely unexplored. We monitored signaling and transcriptional dynamics and found that although R-Smads stably translocate to the nucleus under continuous pathway stimulation, transcription of direct targets is transient. Surprisingly, Smad4 nuclear localization is confined to short pulses that coincide with transcriptional activity. Upon perturbation, the dynamics of transcription correlate with Smad4 nuclear localization rather than with R-Smad activity. In Xenopus embryos, Smad4 shows stereotyped, uncorrelated bursts of nuclear localization, but activated R-Smads are uniform. Thus, R-Smads relay graded information about ligand levels that is integrated with intrinsic temporal control reflected in Smad4 into the active signaling complex.
Project description:Smad4 in partnership with R-Smads (receptor-regulated Smads) activates TGF-beta (transforming growth factor-beta)-dependent signalling pathways essential for early mouse development. Smad4 null embryos die shortly after implantation due to severe defects in cell proliferation and visceral endoderm differentiation. In the basal state, Smad4 undergoes continuous shuttling between the cytoplasm and the nucleus due to the combined activities of an N-terminal NLS (nuclear localization signal) and an NES (nuclear export signal) located in its linker region. Cell culture experiments suggest that Smad4 nucleocytoplasmic shuttling plays an important role in TGF-beta signalling. In the present study we have investigated the role of Smad4 shuttling in vivo using gene targeting to engineer two independent mutations designed to eliminate Smad4 nuclear export. As predicted this results in increased levels of Smad4 in the nucleus of homozygous ES cells (embryonic stem cells) and primary keratinocytes, in the presence or absence of ligand. Neither mutation affects Smad4 expression levels nor its ability to mediate transcriptional activation in homozygous cell lines. Remarkably mouse mutants lacking the Smad4 NES develop normally. Smad4 NES mutants carrying one copy of a Smad4 null allele also fail to display developmental defects. The present study clearly demonstrates that Smad4 nucleocytoplasmic shuttling is not required for embryonic development or tissue homoeostasis in normal, healthy adult mice.
Project description:PICH is a DNA translocase required for the maintenance of chromosome stability in human cells. Recent data indicate that PICH co-operates with topoisomerase II? to suppress pathological chromosome missegregation through promoting the resolution of ultra-fine anaphase bridges (UFBs). Here, we identify the BEN domain-containing protein 3 (BEND3) as an interaction partner of PICH in human cells in mitosis. We have purified full length PICH and BEND3 and shown that they exhibit a functional biochemical interaction in vitro. We demonstrate that the PICH-BEND3 interaction occurs via a novel interface between a TPR domain in PICH and a BEN domain in BEND3, and have determined the crystal structure of this TPR-BEN complex at 2.2 Å resolution. Based on the structure, we identified amino acids important for the TPR-BEN domain interaction, and for the functional interaction of the full-length proteins. Our data reveal a proposed new function for BEND3 in association with PICH, and the first example of a specific protein-protein interaction mediated by a BEN domain.
Project description:Smad proteins form multimeric complexes consisting of the 'common partner' Smad4 and receptor regulated R-Smads on clustered DNA binding sites. Deciphering how pathway specific Smad complexes multimerize on DNA to regulate gene expression is critical for a better understanding of the cis-regulatory logic of TGF-? and BMP signaling. To this end, we solved the crystal structure of the dimeric Smad4 MH1 domain bound to a palindromic Smad binding element. Surprisingly, the Smad4 MH1 forms a constitutive dimer on the SBE DNA without exhibiting any direct protein-protein interactions suggesting a DNA mediated indirect readout mechanism. However, the R-Smads Smad1, Smad2 and Smad3 homodimerize with substantially decreased efficiency despite pronounced structural similarities to Smad4. Therefore, intricate variations in the DNA structure induced by different Smads and/or variant energetic profiles likely contribute to their propensity to dimerize on DNA. Indeed, competitive binding assays revealed that the Smad4/R-Smad heterodimers predominate under equilibrium conditions while R-Smad homodimers are least favored. Together, we present the structural basis for DNA recognition by Smad4 and demonstrate that Smad4 constitutively homo- and heterodimerizes on DNA in contrast to its R-Smad partner proteins by a mechanism independent of direct protein contacts.
Project description:BEN domain-containing protein 3 (BEND3) has no transmembrane region, is localized in the cytoplasm, and is involved in chromatin function and transcription. We here identified a novel subpopulation of human T cells that expressed BEND3 on their cell surface (BEND3(+) T cells). BEND3(+) T cells consisted of approximately 3% of T cells in the peripheral blood, were present in both CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells, and were also observed in cord blood. The stimulation of BEND3(+) T cells through the TCR/CD3 complex led to the production of various kinds of cytokines; however, the levels of IL-6 and IL-8 produced by BEND3(+) T cells were higher than those by BEND3(-) T cells. The proportion of BEND3(+) T cells was also increased in some patients with inflammatory diseases. Taken together, these results indicate that BEND3(+) T cells are a new subpopulation of T cells in terms of their cytokine profile. Further analyses on BEND3(+) T cells may be of importance and useful in understanding human T cell immunology.
Project description:Upon ligand binding, the receptors of the TGFbeta family phosphorylate Smad proteins, which then move into the nucleus where they activate transcription. To carry out this function, the receptor-activated Smads 1 and 2 require association with the product of deleted in pancreatic carcinoma, locus 4 (DPC4), Smad4. We investigated the step at which Smad4 is required for transcriptional activation. Smad4 is not required for nuclear translocation of Smads 1 or 2, or for association of Smad2 with a DNA binding partner, the winged helix protein FAST-1. Receptor-activated Smad2 takes Smad4 into the nucleus where they form a complex with FAST-1 that requires these three components to activate transcription. Smad4 contributes two functions: Through its amino-terminal domain, Smad4 promotes binding of the Smad2/Smad4/FAST-1 complex to DNA; through its carboxy-terminal domain, Smad4 provides an activation function required for Smad1 or Smad2 to stimulate transcription. The dual function of Smad4 in transcriptional activation underscores its central role in TGFbeta signaling.
Project description:Assembly of the multi-subunit eukaryotic translation initiation factor-4F (eIF4F) is critical for protein synthesis and cell growth and proliferation. eIF4F formation is regulated by the translation-inhibitory protein 4E-BP1. While proliferation factors and intracellular pathways that impinge upon 4E-BP1 phosphorylation have been extensively studied, how they control 4E-BP1 expression remains unknown. Here, we show that Smad4, a transcription factor normally required for TGFbeta-mediated inhibition of normal cell proliferation, enhances 4E-BP1 gene-promoter activity through binding to a conserved element. 4E-BP1 expression is specifically modulated by treatment with TGFbeta and by manipulations of the natural Smad4 regulators (co-Smads) in cells isolated from Smad4(+/+) human tumours, whereas no response is observed in cells isolated from Smad4(-/-) human tumours or in cells where Smad4 has been knocked down by specific siRNAs. In addition, cells where 4E-BP1 has been knocked down (inducible shRNAs in human pancreatic cancer cells or siRNAs in non-malignant human keratinocytes) or has been knocked out (mouse embryonic fibroblasts isolated from 4E-BP1(-/-) mice) proliferate faster and are resistant to the antiproliferative effect of TGFbeta. Thus, 4E-BP1 gene appears critical for TGFbeta/Smad4-mediated inhibition of cell proliferation.
Project description:TGF-β family signaling pathways, including TGF-β and BMP pathways, are widely involved in the regulation of health and diseases through downstream SMADs, which are also regulated by multiple validated mechanisms, such as genetic regulation, epigenetic regulation, and feedback regulation. However, it is still unclear whether R-SMADs or Co-SMAD can feedback regulate the TGF-β family signaling pathways in granulosa cells (GCs). In this study, we report a novel mechanism underlying the feedback regulation of TGF-β family signaling pathways, i.e., SMAD4, the only Co-SMAD, positive feedback activates the TGF-β family signaling pathways in GCs with a basal level of TGF-β ligands by interacting with the core promoters of its upstream receptors. Mechanistically, SMAD4 acts as a transcription factor, and feedback activates the transcription of its upstream receptors, including <i>ACVR1B</i>, <i>BMPR2</i>, and <i>TGFBR2</i>, of the canonical TGF-β signaling pathways by interacting with three coactivators (c-JUN, CREB1, and SP1), respectively. Notably, three different interaction modes between SMAD4 and coactivators were identified in SMAD4-mediated feedback regulation of upstream receptors through reciprocal ChIP assays. Our findings in the present study indicate for the first time that SMAD4 feedback activates the canonical TGF-β family signaling pathways in GCs, which improves and expands the regulatory mechanism, especially the feedback regulation modes of TGF-β family signaling pathways in ovarian GCs.