Four amino acids within a tandem QxVx repeat in a predicted extended ?-helix of the Smad-binding domain of Sip1 are necessary for binding to activated Smad proteins.
ABSTRACT: The zinc finger transcription factor Smad-interacting protein-1 (Sip1; Zeb2, Zfhx1b) plays an important role during vertebrate embryogenesis in various tissues and differentiating cell types, and during tumorigenesis. Previous biochemical analysis suggests that interactions with several partner proteins, including TGF? family receptor-activated Smads, regulate the activities of Sip1 in the nucleus both as a DNA-binding transcriptional repressor and activator. Using a peptide aptamer approach we mapped in Sip1 its Smad-binding domain (SBD), initially defined as a segment of 51 amino acids, to a shorter stretch of 14 amino acids within this SBD. Modelling suggests that this short SBD stretch is part of an extended ?-helix that may fit the binding to a hydrophobic corridor within the MH2 domain of activated Smads. Four amino acids (two polar Q residues and two non-polar V residues) that form the tandem repeat (QxVx)2 in this 14-residue stretch were found to be crucial for binding to both TGF?/Nodal/Activin-Smads and BMP-Smads. A full-length Sip1 with collective mutation of these Q and V residues (to A) no longer binds to Smads, while it retains its binding activity to its cognate bipartite target DNA sequence. This missense mutant Sip1(AxAx)2 provides a new molecular tool to identify SBD (in)dependent target genes in Sip1-controlled TGF? and/or BMP (de)regulated cellular, developmental and pathological processes.
Project description:Gene-specific transcription factors (GSTFs) control of gene transcription by DNA binding and specific protein complex recruitment, which regulates promoter accessibility for transcription initiation by RNA polymerase II. GSTFs that are frequently mutated in colon and rectal carcinomas are Suppressor of Mothers Against Decapentaplegic 2 (SMAD2) and SMAD4, which play an important role in the TGF-β signaling pathways controlling cell fate and proliferation (ref.). The SMAD protein family is a diverse and it can be divided into three subclasses: receptor activated SMADs, inhibitory SMADs and the common SMAD4 co-activator. To study protein interactors of the SMAD protein family we generated a quantitative proteomics pipeline that allows for inducible expression of GFP-tagged SMAD proteins followed by affinity purification and MS analysis. The nuclear importin IPO5 was identified as a novel interacting protein of SMAD1. Overexpression of IPO5 shows forced BMP R-SMAD nuclear localization confirming a functional relationship between BMP but not TGF-β R-SMADs and IPO5. Finally we provide evidence that the length of the lysine stretch in the NLS is involved in importin selection.
Project description:Smad transcription factors activated by TGF-? or by BMP receptors form trimeric complexes with Smad4 to target specific genes for cell fate regulation. The CAGAC motif has been considered as the main binding element for Smad2/3/4, whereas Smad1/5/8 have been thought to preferentially bind GC-rich elements. However, chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis in embryonic stem cells showed extensive binding of Smad2/3/4 to GC-rich cis-regulatory elements. Here, we present the structural basis for specific binding of Smad3 and Smad4 to GC-rich motifs in the goosecoid promoter, a nodal-regulated differentiation gene. The structures revealed a 5-bp consensus sequence GGC(GC)|(CG) as the binding site for both TGF-? and BMP-activated Smads and for Smad4. These 5GC motifs are highly represented as clusters in Smad-bound regions genome-wide. Our results provide a basis for understanding the functional adaptability of Smads in different cellular contexts, and their dependence on lineage-determining transcription factors to target specific genes in TGF-? and BMP pathways.
Project description:Kinase activation and substrate phosphorylation commonly form the backbone of signaling cascades. Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs), a subclass of TGF-? family ligands, induce activation of their signaling effectors, the Smads, through C-terminal phosphorylation by transmembrane receptor kinases. However, the slow kinetics of Smad activation in response to BMP suggests a preceding step in the initiation of BMP signaling. We now show that arginine methylation, which is known to regulate gene expression, yet also modifies some signaling mediators, initiates BMP-induced Smad signaling. BMP-induced receptor complex formation promotes interaction of the methyltransferase PRMT1 with the inhibitory Smad6, resulting in Smad6 methylation and relocalization at the receptor, leading to activation of effector Smads through phosphorylation. PRMT1 is required for BMP-induced biological responses across species, as evidenced by the role of its ortholog Dart1 in BMP signaling during Drosophila wing development. Activation of signaling by arginine methylation may also apply to other signaling pathways.
Project description:The level of TGF-?/bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling through Smad is tightly regulated to ensure proper embryonic patterning and homeostasis. Here we show that Smad activation by TGF-?/BMP is blocked by a highly conserved phosphorylation event in the ?-helix 1 region of Smad [T312 in Drosophila Smad1 (MAD)]. ?-helix 1 phosphorylation reduces Smad interaction with TGF-?/BMP receptor kinase and affects all receptor-activated Smads except Smad3. Tissue culture and transgenic studies in Drosophila further demonstrate that the biological activity of MAD is repressed by T312 phosphorylation in vivo. Through RNAi screening of the kinome, we have identified Misshapen (Msn) and the mammalian orthologs TNIK, MINK1, and MAP4K4 as the kinases responsible for ?-helix 1 phosphorylation. Targeted expression of an active form of Msn in the wing imaginal disk disrupted activation of endogenous MAD by Dpp and expression of the Dpp/MAD target gene. Msn kinases belong to the Ste20 kinase family that has been shown to act as MAP kinase kinase kinase kinase (MAP4K). Our findings thus reveal a function of Msn independent of its impact on MAP kinase cascades. This Smad inhibition mechanism by Msn likely has important implications for development and disease.
Project description:Myelination by oligodendrocytes in the central nervous system (CNS) is essential for proper brain function, yet the molecular determinants that control this process remain poorly understood. The basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors Olig1 and Olig2 promote myelination, whereas bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) and Wnt/?-catenin signaling inhibit myelination. Here we show that these opposing regulators of myelination are functionally linked by the Olig1/2 common target Smad-interacting protein-1 (Sip1). We demonstrate that Sip1 is an essential modulator of CNS myelination. Sip1 represses differentiation inhibitory signals by antagonizing BMP receptor-activated Smad activity while activating crucial oligodendrocyte-promoting factors. Importantly, a key Sip1-activated target, Smad7, is required for oligodendrocyte differentiation and partially rescues differentiation defects caused by Sip1 loss. Smad7 promotes myelination by blocking the BMP- and ?-catenin-negative regulatory pathways. Thus, our findings reveal that Sip1-mediated antagonism of inhibitory signaling is critical for promoting CNS myelination and point to new mediators for myelin repair.
Project description:Animals use TGF-? superfamily signal transduction pathways during development and tissue maintenance. The superfamily has traditionally been divided into TGF-?/Activin and BMP branches based on relationships between ligands, receptors, and R-Smads. Several previous reports have shown that, in cell culture systems, "BMP-specific" Smads can be phosphorylated in response to TGF-?/Activin pathway activation. Using Drosophila cell culture as well as in vivo assays, we find that Baboon, the Drosophila TGF-?/Activin-specific Type I receptor, can phosphorylate Mad, the BMP-specific R-Smad, in addition to its normal substrate, dSmad2. The Baboon-Mad activation appears direct because it occurs in the absence of canonical BMP Type I receptors. Wing phenotypes generated by Baboon gain-of-function require Mad, and are partially suppressed by over-expression of dSmad2. In the larval wing disc, activated Baboon cell-autonomously causes C-terminal Mad phosphorylation, but only when endogenous dSmad2 protein is depleted. The Baboon-Mad relationship is thus controlled by dSmad2 levels. Elevated P-Mad is seen in several tissues of dSmad2 protein-null mutant larvae, and these levels are normalized in dSmad2; baboon double mutants, indicating that the cross-talk reaction and Smad competition occur with endogenous levels of signaling components in vivo. In addition, we find that high levels of Activin signaling cause substantial turnover in dSmad2 protein, providing a potential cross-pathway signal-switching mechanism. We propose that the dual activity of TGF-?/Activin receptors is an ancient feature, and we discuss several ways this activity can modulate TGF-? signaling output.
Project description:Transforming growth factor β superfamily members signal through Smad transcription factors. Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) act via Smads 1, 5 and 8 and TGF-βs signal through Smads 2 and 3. The endocytic adaptor protein Eps15R, or 'epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor pathway substrate 15-related protein' is a component of EGF signal transduction, mediating internalization of the EGF receptor. We show that it interacts with Smad proteins, is required for BMP signalling in animal caps and stimulates Smad1 transcriptional activity. This function resides in the Asp-Pro-Phe motif-enriched 'DPF domain' of Eps15R, which activates transcription and antagonizes Smad2 signalling. In living cells, Eps15R segregates into spatially distinct regions with different Smads, indicating an unrecognized level of Smad compartmentalization.
Project description:TGF-beta and BMP receptor kinases activate Smad transcription factors by C-terminal phosphorylation. We have identified a subsequent agonist-induced phosphorylation that plays a central dual role in Smad transcriptional activation and turnover. As receptor-activated Smads form transcriptional complexes, they are phosphorylated at an interdomain linker region by CDK8 and CDK9, which are components of transcriptional mediator and elongation complexes. These phosphorylations promote Smad transcriptional action, which in the case of Smad1 is mediated by the recruitment of YAP to the phosphorylated linker sites. An effector of the highly conserved Hippo organ size control pathway, YAP supports Smad1-dependent transcription and is required for BMP suppression of neural differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells. The phosphorylated linker is ultimately recognized by specific ubiquitin ligases, leading to proteasome-mediated turnover of activated Smad proteins. Thus, nuclear CDK8/9 drive a cycle of Smad utilization and disposal that is an integral part of canonical BMP and TGF-beta pathways.
Project description:Smad transcription factors are the main downstream effectors of the Transforming growth factor ? superfamily (TGF?) signalling network. The DNA complexes determined here by X-ray crystallography for the Bone Morphogenetic Proteins (BMP) activated Smad5 and Smad8 proteins reveal that all MH1 domains bind [GGC(GC)|(CG)] motifs similarly, although TGF?-activated Smad2/3 and Smad4 MH1 domains bind as monomers whereas Smad1/5/8 form helix-swapped dimers. Dimers and monomers are also present in solution, as revealed by NMR. To decipher the characteristics that defined these dimers, we designed chimeric MH1 domains and characterized them using X-ray crystallography. We found that swapping the loop1 between TGF?- and BMP- activated MH1 domains switches the dimer/monomer propensities. When we scanned the distribution of Smad-bound motifs in ChIP-Seq peaks (Chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by high-throughput sequencing) in Smad-responsive genes, we observed specific site clustering and spacing depending on whether the peaks correspond to BMP- or TGF?-responsive genes. We also identified significant correlations between site distribution and monomer or dimer propensities. We propose that the MH1 monomer or dimer propensity of Smads contributes to the distinct motif selection genome-wide and together with the MH2 domain association, help define the composition of R-Smad/Smad4 trimeric complexes.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Mechanical stress rapidly induces ?FosB expression in osteoblasts, which binds to interleukin (IL)-11 gene promoter to enhance IL-11 expression, and IL-11 enhances osteoblast differentiation. Because bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) also stimulate IL-11 expression in osteoblasts, there is a possibility that BMP-Smad signaling is involved in the enhancement of osteoblast differentiation by mechanical stress. The present study was undertaken to clarify whether mechanical stress affects BMP-Smad signaling, and if so, to elucidate the role of Smad signaling in mechanical stress-induced enhancement of IL-11 gene transcription. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Mechanical loading by fluid shear stress (FSS) induced phosphorylation of BMP-specific receptor-regulated Smads (BR-Smads), Smad1/5, in murine primary osteoblasts (mPOBs). FSS rapidly phosphorylated Y311 of protein kinase C (PKC)?, and phosphorylated PKC? interacted with BR-Smads to phosphorylate BR-Smads. Transfection of PKC? siRNA or Y311F mutant PKC? abrogated BR-Smads phosphorylation and suppressed IL-11 gene transcription enhanced by FSS. Activated BR-Smads bound to the Smad-binding element (SBE) of IL-11 gene promoter and formed complex with ?FosB/JunD heterodimer via binding to the C-terminal region of JunD. Site-directed mutagenesis in the SBE and the AP-1 site revealed that both SBE and AP-1 sites were required for full activation of IL-11 gene promoter by FSS. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These results demonstrate that PKC?-BR-Smads pathway plays an important role in the intracellular signaling in response to mechanical stress, and that a cross-talk between PKC?-BR-Smads and ?FosB/JunD pathways synergistically stimulates IL-11 gene transcription in response to mechanical stress.