Identification of germline alterations of the mad homology 2 domain of SMAD3 and SMAD4 from the Ontario site of the breast cancer family registry (CFR).
ABSTRACT: A common feature of neoplastic cells is that mutations in SMADs can contribute to the loss of sensitivity to the anti-tumor effects of transforming growth factor-? (TGF-?). However, germline mutation analysis of SMAD3 and SMAD4, the principle substrates of the TGF-? signaling pathway, has not yet been conducted in breast cancer. Thus, it is currently unknown whether germline SMAD3 and SMAD4 mutations are involved in breast cancer predisposition.We performed mutation analysis of the highly conserved mad-homology 2 (MH2) domains for both genes in genomic DNA from 408 non-BRCA1/BRCA2 breast cancer cases and 710 population controls recruited by the Ontario site of the breast cancer family registry (CFR) using denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography (DHPLC) and direct DNA sequencing. The results were interpreted in several ways. First, we adapted nucleotide diversity analysis to quantitatively assess whether the frequency of alterations differ between the two genes. Next, in silico tools were used to predict variants' effect on domain function and mRNA splicing. Finally, 37 cases or controls harboring alterations were tested for aberrant splicing using reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and real-time PCR statistical comparison of germline expressions by non-parametric Mann-Whitney test of independent samples.We identified 27 variants including 2 novel SMAD4 coding variants c.1350G > A (p.Gln450Gln), and c.1701A > G (p.Ile525Val). There were no inactivating mutations even though c.1350G > A was predicted to affect exonic splicing enhancers. However, several additional findings were of note: 1) nucleotide diversity estimate for SMAD3 but not SMAD4 indicated that coding variants of the MH2 domain were more infrequent than expected; 2) in breast cancer cases SMAD3 was significantly over-expressed relative to controls (P < 0.05) while the case harboring SMAD4 c.1350G > A was associated with elevated germline expression (> 5-fold); 3) separate analysis using tissue expression data showed statistically significant over-expression of SMAD3 and SMAD4 in breast carcinomas.This study shows that inactivating germline alterations in SMAD3 and SMAD4 are rare, suggesting a limited role in driving tumorigenesis. Nevertheless, aberrant germline expressions of SMAD3 and SMAD4 may be more common in breast cancer than previously suspected and offer novel insight into their roles in predisposition and/or progression of breast cancer.
Project description:TGF-beta1 (transforming growth factor-beta1) is the prototypical member of a large family of pleiotropic cytokines that regulate diverse biological processes during development and adult tissue homoeostasis. TGF-beta signals via membrane bound serine/threonine kinase receptors which transmit their signals via the intracellular signalling molecules Smad2, Smad3 and Smad4. These Smads contain conserved MH1 and MH2 domains separated by a flexible linker domain. Smad2 and Smad3 act as kinase substrates for the receptors, and, following phosphorylation, they form complexes with Smad4 and translocate to the nucleus. These Smad complexes regulate gene expression and ultimately determine the biological response to TGF-beta. In this issue of the Biochemical Journal, Wang et al. have shown that, like Smad4, the linker domain of Smad3 contains a Smad transcriptional activation domain. This is capable of recruiting the p300 transcriptional co-activator and is required for Smad3-dependent transcriptional activation. This study raises interesting questions about the nature and regulation of Smad-regulated gene activation and elevates the status of the linker domain to rival that of the much-lauded MH1 and MH2 domains.
Project description:A key feature of TGF-? signaling activation in cancer cells is the sustained activation of SMAD complexes in the nucleus; however, the drivers of SMAD activation are poorly defined. Here, using human and mouse breast cancer cell lines, we found that oncogene forkhead box M1 (FOXM1) interacts with SMAD3 to sustain activation of the SMAD3/SMAD4 complex in the nucleus. FOXM1 prevented the E3 ubiquitin-protein ligase transcriptional intermediary factor 1 ? (TIF1?) from binding SMAD3 and monoubiquitinating SMAD4, which stabilized the SMAD3/SMAD4 complex. Loss of FOXM1 abolished TGF-?-induced SMAD3/SMAD4 formation. Moreover, the interaction of FOXM1 and SMAD3 promoted TGF-?/SMAD3-mediated transcriptional activity and target gene expression. We found that FOXM1/SMAD3 interaction was required for TGF-?-induced breast cancer invasion, which was the result of SMAD3/SMAD4-dependent upregulation of the transcription factor SLUG. Importantly, the function of FOXM1 in TGF-?-induced invasion was not dependent on FOXM1's transcriptional activity. Knockdown of SMAD3 diminished FOXM1-induced metastasis. Furthermore, FOXM1 levels correlated with activated TGF-? signaling and metastasis in human breast cancer specimens. Together, our data indicate that FOXM1 promotes breast cancer metastasis by increasing nuclear retention of SMAD3 and identify crosstalk between FOXM1 and TGF-?/SMAD3 pathways. This study highlights the critical interaction of FOXM1 and SMAD3 for controlling TGF-? signaling during metastasis.
Project description:BACKGROUND:BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations explain approximately one-fifth of the inherited susceptibility in high-risk Finnish hereditary breast and ovarian cancer (HBOC) families. EMSY is located in the breast cancer-associated chromosomal region 11q13. The EMSY gene encodes a BRCA2-interacting protein that has been implicated in DNA damage repair and genomic instability. We analysed the role of germline EMSY variation in breast/ovarian cancer predisposition. The present study describes the first EMSY screening in patients with high familial risk for this disease. METHODS:Index individuals from 71 high-risk, BRCA1/2-negative HBOC families were screened for germline EMSY sequence alterations in protein coding regions and exon-intron boundaries using Sanger sequencing and TaqMan assays. The identified variants were further screened in 36 Finnish HBOC patients and 904 controls. Moreover, one novel intronic deletion was screened in a cohort of 404 breast cancer patients unselected for family history. Haplotype block structure and the association of haplotypes with breast/ovarian cancer were analysed using Haploview. The functionality of the identified variants was predicted using Haploreg, RegulomeDB, Human Splicing Finder, and Pathogenic-or-Not-Pipeline 2. RESULTS:Altogether, 12 germline EMSY variants were observed. Two alterations were located in the coding region, five alterations were intronic, and five alterations were located in the 3'untranslated region (UTR). Variant frequencies did not significantly differ between cases and controls. The novel variant, c.2709 + 122delT, was detected in 1 out of 107 (0.9%) breast cancer patients, and the carrier showed a bilateral form of the disease. The deletion was absent in 897 controls (OR = 25.28; P = 0.1) and in 404 breast cancer patients unselected for family history. No haplotype was identified to increase the risk of breast/ovarian cancer. Functional analyses suggested that variants, particularly in the 3'UTR, were located within regulatory elements. The novel deletion was predicted to affect splicing regulatory elements. CONCLUSIONS:These results suggest that the identified EMSY variants are likely neutral at the population level. However, these variants may contribute to breast/ovarian cancer risk in single families. Additional analyses are warranted for rare novel intronic deletions and the 3'UTR variants predicted to have functional roles.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Juvenile polyps occur in several Mendelian disorders, whether in association with gastrointestinal cancer alone (juvenile polyposis syndrome, JPS) or as part of known syndromes (Cowden, Gorlin, and Bannayan-Zonana) in association with developmental abnormalities, dysmorphic features, or extraintestinal tumours. Recently, some JPS families were shown to harbour germline mutations in the SMAD4 (DPC4) gene, providing further evidence for the importance of the TGFbeta signalling pathway in colorectal cancer. There remains, however, considerable, unexplained genetic heterogeneity in JPS. Other members of the SMAD family are excellent candidates for JPS, especially SMAD2 (which, like SMAD4, is mutated somatically in colorectal cancers), SMAD3 (which causes colorectal cancer when "knocked out" in mice), SMAD5, and SMAD1. METHODS: SMAD1, SMAD2, SMAD3, and SMAD5 were screened for germline mutations in 30 patients with JPS and without SMAD4 mutations. RESULTS: No mutations were found in any of these genes. A G-A C89Y polymorphism with possible effects on protein function was found in SMAD3, but the frequencies of the G and A alleles did not differ between patients with JPS and controls. CONCLUSIONS: It remains to be determined whether or not this polymorphism is involved in a minor predisposition to colorectal or other carcinomas. SMAD4 may be the only member of the SMAD family which causes JPS when mutant in the germline. The other genes underlying JPS remain to be identified.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Pancreatic cancer (PC) is one of the most lethal human cancers, and radiation therapy (RT) is an important treating option. Many patients diagnosed with PC do not achieve objective responses because of the existence of intrinsic and acquired radioresistance. Therefore, biomarkers, which predict radiotherapy benefit in PC, are eagerly needed to be identified.<h4>Methods</h4>Whole-exome sequencing of six pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma patients (PDAC) (three with a good response and three with a poor response) who had received radical surgery and then radiotherapy has been performed as standard of care treatment. Somatic and germline variants and the mutational signatures were analyzed with bioinformatics tools and public databases. Functional enrichment and pathway-based protein-protein interaction analyses were utilized to address the possibly mechanism in radioresistance. MTT, LDH, and colony formation assay were applied to evaluate cell growth and colony formation ability.<h4>Results</h4>In the present study, somatic mutations located in 441 genes were detected to be radiosensitivity-related loci. Seventeen genes, including the Smad protein family members (SMAD3 and SMAD4), were identified to influence the radiosensitivity in PDAC. The SMAD3 and SMAD4 genes mutate differently between radiosensitive and radioresistant PDAC patients. Mutation of SMAD3 potentiates the effects of ionizing radiation (IR) on cell growth and colony formation in PDAC cells, whereas mutation of SMAD4 had the opposite effects. SMAD3 and SMAD4 regulate the radiosensitivity of PDAC, at least in part, by P21 and FOXO3a, respectively.<h4>Conclusions</h4>These results indicate that mutations of SMAD3 and SMAD4 likely cause the difference of response to radiotherapy in PDAC, which might be considered as the biomarkers and potential targets for the radiotherapy of pancreatic cancer.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Hub proteins are connected through binding interactions to many other proteins. Smad3, a mediator of signal transduction induced by transforming growth factor beta (TGF-?), serves as a hub protein for over 50 protein-protein interactions. Different cellular responses mediated by Smad3 are the product of cell-type and context dependent Smad3-nucleated protein complexes acting in concert. Our hypothesis is that perturbation of this spectrum of protein complexes by mutation of single protein-binding hot-spots on Smad3 will have distinct consequences on Smad3-mediated responses.<h4>Methodology/principal findings</h4>We mutated 28 amino acids on the surface of the Smad3 MH2 domain and identified 22 Smad3 variants with reduced binding to subsets of 17 Smad3-binding proteins including Smad4, SARA, Ski, Smurf2 and SIP1. Mutations defective in binding to Smad4, e.g., D408H, or defective in nucleocytoplasmic shuttling, e.g., W406A, were compromised in modulating the expression levels of a Smad3-dependent reporter gene or six endogenous Smad3-responsive genes: Mmp9, IL11, Tnfaip6, Fermt1, Olfm2 and Wnt11. However, the Smad3 mutants Y226A, Y297A, W326A, K341A, and E267A had distinct differences on TGF-? signaling. For example, K341A and Y226A both reduced the Smad3-mediated activation of the reporter gene by ?50% but K341A only reduced the TGF-? inducibilty of Olfm2 in contrast to Y226A which reduced the TGF-? inducibility of all six endogenous genes as severely as the W406A mutation. E267A had increased protein binding but reduced TGF-? inducibility because it caused higher basal levels of expression. Y297A had increased TGF-? inducibility because it caused lower Smad3-induced basal levels of gene expression.<h4>Conclusions/significance</h4>Mutations in protein binding hot-spots on Smad3 reduced the binding to different subsets of interacting proteins and caused a range of quantitative changes in the expression of genes induced by Smad3. This approach should be useful for unraveling which Smad3 protein complexes are critical for specific biological responses.
Project description:Interactions with co-factors provide a means by which HOX proteins exert specificity. To identify candidate protein interactors of HOXA13, we created and screened an E11.5-E12.5, distal limb bud yeast two-hybrid prey library. Among the interactors, we isolated the BMP-signaling effector Smad5, which interacted with the paralogous HOXD13 but not with HOXA11 or HOXA9, revealing unique interaction capabilities of the AbdB-like HOX proteins. Using deletion mutants, we determined that the MH2 domain of Smad5 is necessary for HOXA13 interaction. This is the first report demonstrating an interaction between HOX proteins and the MH2 domain of Smad proteins. HOXA13 and HOXD13 also bind to other BMP and TGF-beta/Activin-regulated Smad proteins including Smad1 and Smad2, but not Smad4. Furthermore, HOXD13 could be co-immunoprecipitated with Smad1 from cells. Expression of HOXA13, HOXD13 or a HOXD13 homeodomain mutant (HOXD13(IQN>AAA)) antagonized TGF-beta-stimulated transcriptional activation of the pAdtrack-3TP-Lux reporter vector in Mv1Lu cells as well as the Smad3/Smad4-activated pTRS6-E1b promoter in Hep3B cells. Finally, using mammalian one-hybrid assay, we show that transcriptional activation by a GAL4/Smad3-C-terminus fusion protein is specifically inhibited by HOXA13. Our results identify a new co-factor for HOX group 13 proteins and suggest that HOX proteins may modulate Smad-mediated transcriptional activity through protein-protein interactions without the requirement for HOX monomeric DNA-binding capability.
Project description:Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is essential for organogenesis and is triggered during carcinoma progression to an invasive state. Transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) cooperates with signalling pathways, such as Ras and Wnt, to induce EMT, but the molecular mechanisms are not clear. Here, we report that SMAD3 and SMAD4 interact and form a complex with SNAIL1, a transcriptional repressor and promoter of EMT. The SNAIL1-SMAD3/4 complex was targeted to the gene promoters of CAR, a tight-junction protein, and E-cadherin during TGF-beta-driven EMT in breast epithelial cells. SNAIL1 and SMAD3/4 acted as co-repressors of CAR, occludin, claudin-3 and E-cadherin promoters in transfected cells. Conversely, co-silencing of SNAIL1 and SMAD4 by siRNA inhibited repression of CAR and occludin during EMT. Moreover, loss of CAR and E-cadherin correlated with nuclear co-expression of SNAIL1 and SMAD3/4 in a mouse model of breast carcinoma and at the invasive fronts of human breast cancer. We propose that activation of a SNAIL1-SMAD3/4 transcriptional complex represents a mechanism of gene repression during EMT.