Relationship between ETS Transcription Factor ETV1 and TGF-β-regulated SMAD Proteins in Prostate Cancer.
ABSTRACT: The ETS transcription factor ETV1 is frequently overexpressed in aggressive prostate cancer, which is one underlying cause of this disease. Accordingly, transgenic mice that prostate-specifically overexpress ETV1 develop prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia. However, progression to the adenocarcinoma stage is stifled in these mice, suggesting that inhibitory pathways possibly preclude ETV1 from exerting its full oncogenic potential. Here we provide evidence that TGF-β/SMAD signaling represents such an inhibitory pathway. First, we discovered that ETV1 forms complexes with SMAD4. Second, SMAD2, SMAD3 and SMAD4 overexpression impaired ETV1's ability to stimulate gene transcription. Third, TGF-β1 inhibited ETV1-induced invasion by benign RWPE-1 prostate cells. Fourth, increased expression of SMAD3 and SMAD4 was observable in prostates of ETV1 transgenic mice. Conversely, we found that ETV1 may enhance TGF-β signaling in PC3 prostate cancer cells, revealing a different facet of the ETV1/TGF-β interplay. Altogether, these data provide more insights into the regulation and action of ETV1 and additionally suggest that TGF-β/SMAD signaling exerts its tumor suppressive activity, at least in part, by curtailing the oncogenic potential of ETV1 in prostatic lesions.
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:Transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) signals predominantly through a receptor complex comprising ALK5 and TbetaRII to activate receptor-regulated Smads (R-Smads) Smad2 and Smad3. In endothelial cells, however, TGF-beta can additionally activate Smad1 and Smad5. Here, we report that TGF-beta also strongly induces phosphorylation of Smad1/5 in many different normal epithelial cells, epithelium-derived tumor cells, and fibroblasts. We demonstrate that TbetaRII and ALK5, as well as ALK2 and/or ALK3, are required for TGF-beta-induced Smad1/5 phosphorylation. We show that the simultaneous activation of the R-Smads Smad2/3 and Smad1/5 by TGF-beta results in the formation of mixed R-Smad complexes, containing, for example, phosphorylated Smad1 and Smad2. The prevalence of these mixed R-Smad complexes explains why TGF-beta-induced Smad1/5 phosphorylation does not result in transcriptional activation via bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)-responsive elements, which bind activated Smad1/5-Smad4 complexes that are induced by BMP stimulation. Thus, TGF-beta induces two parallel pathways: one signaling via Smad2-Smad4 or Smad3-Smad4 complexes and the other signaling via mixed R-Smad complexes. Finally, we assess the function of the novel arm of TGF-beta signaling and show that TGF-beta-induced Smad1/5 activation is not required for the growth-inhibitory effects of TGF-beta but is specifically required for TGF-beta-induced anchorage-independent growth.
Project description:E3 ubiquitin ligases play important roles in regulating transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta)/Smad signaling. Screening of an E3 ubiquitin ligase small interfering RNA library, using TGF-beta induction of a Smad3/Smad4-dependent luciferase reporter as a readout, revealed that Arkadia is an E3 ubiquitin ligase that is absolutely required for this TGF-beta response. Knockdown of Arkadia or overexpression of a dominant-negative mutant completely abolishes transcription from Smad3/Smad4-dependent reporters, but not from Smad1/Smad4-dependent reporters or from reporters driven by Smad2/Smad4/FoxH1 complexes. We show that Arkadia specifically activates transcription via Smad3/Smad4 binding sites by inducing degradation of the transcriptional repressor SnoN. Arkadia is essential for TGF-beta-induced SnoN degradation, but it has little effect on SnoN levels in the absence of signal. Arkadia interacts with SnoN and induces its ubiquitination irrespective of TGF-beta/Activin signaling, but SnoN is efficiently degraded only when it forms a complex with both Arkadia and phosphorylated Smad2 or Smad3. Finally, we describe an esophageal cancer cell line (SEG-1) that we show has lost Arkadia expression and is deficient for SnoN degradation. Reintroduction of wild-type Arkadia restores TGF-beta-induced Smad3/Smad4-dependent transcription and SnoN degradation in these cells, raising the possibility that loss of Arkadia function may be relevant in cancer.
Project description:Transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) is a multifunctional cytokine signaling to the nucleus through cell surface transmembrane receptor serine/threonine kinases and cytoplasmic effectors, including Smad proteins. We describe a novel modulator of this pathway, TLP (TRAP-1-like protein), which is 25% identical to the previously described Smad4 chaperone, TRAP-1, and shows identical expression patterns in human tissues. Endogenous TLP associates with both active and kinase-deficient TGF-beta and activin type II receptors, but interacts with the common-mediator Smad4 only in the presence of TGF-beta/activin signaling. Overexpression of TLP represses the ability of TGF-beta to induce transcription from SBE-Luc, a Smad3/4-specific reporter, while it potentiates transcription from ARE-Luc, a Smad2/4-specific reporter. Consistent with this, TLP inhibits the formation of Smad3/4 complexes in the absence of effects on phosphorylation of Smad3, while it affects neither Smad2 phosphorylation nor hetero-oligomerization. We propose that TLP might regulate the balance of Smad2 and Smad3 signaling by localizing Smad4 intracellularly, thus contributing to cellular specificity of TGF-beta transcriptional responses in both normal and pathophysiology.
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:Scleroderma is a chronic systemic disease that leads to fibrosis of affected organs. Transforming growth factor (TGF) beta has been implicated in the pathogenesis of scleroderma. Smad proteins are signaling transducers downstream from TGF-beta receptors. Three families of Smads have been identified: (i) receptor-regulated Smad2 and -3 (R-Smads); (ii) common partner Smad4 (Co-Smad); and (iii) inhibitory Smad6 and -7 (I-Smads, part of a negative feedback loop). We have investigated the signaling components for the TGF-beta pathway and TGF-beta activity in scleroderma lesions in vivo and in scleroderma fibroblasts in vitro. Basal level and TGF-beta-inducible expression of Smad7 are selectively decreased, whereas Smad3 expression is increased both in scleroderma skin and in explanted scleroderma fibroblasts in culture. TGF-beta signaling events, including phosphorylation of Smad2 and -3, and transcription of the PAI-1 gene are increased in scleroderma fibroblasts, relative to normal fibroblasts. In vitro adenoviral gene transfer with Smad7 restores normal TGF-beta signaling in scleroderma fibroblasts. These results suggest that alterations in the Smad pathway, including marked Smad7 deficiency and Smad3 up-regulation, may be responsible for TGF-beta hyperresponsiveness observed in scleroderma.
Project description:Transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta)/Smads regulate a wide variety of biological responses through transcriptional regulation of target genes. Smad3 plays a key role in TGF-beta/Smad-mediated transcriptional responses. Here, we show that the proline-rich linker region of Smad3 contains a transcriptional activation domain. When the linker region is fused to a heterologous DNA-binding domain, it activates transcription. We show that the linker region physically interacts with p300. The adenovirus E1a protein, which binds to p300, inhibits the transcriptional activity of the linker region, and overexpression of p300 can rescue the linker-mediated transcriptional activation. In contrast, an adenovirus E1a mutant, which cannot bind to p300, does not inhibit the linker-mediated transcription. The native Smad3 protein lacking the linker region is unable to mediate TGF-beta transcriptional activation responses, although it can be phosphorylated by the TGF-beta receptor at the C-terminal tail and has a significantly increased ability to form a heteromeric complex with Smad4. We show further that the linker region and the C-terminal domain of Smad3 synergize for transcriptional activation in the presence of TGF-beta. Thus our findings uncover an important function of the Smad3 linker region in Smad-mediated transcriptional control.
Project description:In response to transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta), Smad4 forms complexes with activated Smad2 and Smad3, which accumulate in the nucleus, where they both positively and negatively regulate TGF-beta target genes. Mutation or deletion of Smad4 is found in about 50% of pancreatic tumors and in about 15% of colorectal tumors. As Smad4 is a central component of the TGF-beta/Smad pathway, we have determined whether Smad4 is absolutely required for all TGF-beta responses, to evaluate the effect of its loss during human tumor development. We have generated cell lines from the immortalized human keratinocyte cell line HaCaT or the pancreatic tumor cell line Colo-357, which stably express a tetracyline-inducible small interfering RNA targeted against Smad4. In response to tetracycline, Smad4 expression is effectively silenced. Large-scale microarray analysis identifies two populations of TGF-beta target genes that are distinguished by their dependency on Smad4. Some genes absolutely require Smad4 for their regulation, while others do not. Functional analysis also indicates a differential Smad4 requirement for TGF-beta-induced functions; TGF-beta-induced cell cycle arrest and migration, but not epithelial-mesenchymal transition, are abolished after silencing of Smad4. Altogether our results suggest that loss of Smad4 might promote TGF-beta-mediated tumorigenesis by abolishing tumor-suppressive functions of TGF-beta while maintaining some tumor-promoting TGF-beta responses.
Project description:The role of the TGF-beta-Smad signaling pathway in the carcinogenesis of head and neck cancer has not been fully evaluated genetically. In this study, we screened for mutation in the five main members of the TGF-beta -Smad signaling pathway, TGF-beta type I receptor (TGFBRI), TGF-beta type II receptor (TGFBRII), SMAD2, SMAD3 and SMAD4, in eight human head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) cell lines. Two mutations with presumed loss of heterozygosity (LOH) were identified. A novel missense mutation of SMAD2, located in exon 8 at codon 276 TCG (ser) -->TTG (leu), was identified in cell line SCC-15. This is the first report of a biallelic mutation of the SMAD2 gene in HNSCC. A nonsense mutation of the SMAD4 gene in exon 5 codon 245 CAG (glut) -->TAG (stop) was found in cell line CAL27. Western blotting verified that this nonsense mutation gives rise to the complete loss of the Smad4 protein in the cells. While the down-regulation and loss of expressions of the TGF-beta-Smad signaling pathway have been described frequently in HNSCC, here we offer further genetic evidence that the pathway is directly targeted for mutation during the HNSCC tumorigenesis.
Project description:Transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta signaling occurs through Smads 2/3/4, which translocate to the nucleus to regulate transcription; TGF-beta has tumor-suppressive effects in some tumor models and pro-metastatic effects in others. In patients with colorectal cancer (CRC), mutations or reduced levels of Smad4 have been correlated with reduced survival. However, the function of Smad signaling and the effects of TGF-beta-receptor kinase inhibitors have not been analyzed during CRC metastasis. We investigated the role of TGF-beta/Smad signaling in CRC progression.We evaluated the role of TGF-beta/Smad signaling on cell proliferation, migration, invasion, tumorigenicity, and metastasis in Smad4-null colon carcinoma cell lines (MC38 and SW620) and in those that transgenically express Smad4. We also determined the effects of a TGF-beta-receptor kinase inhibitor (LY2109761) in CRC tumor progression and metastasis in mice.TGF-beta induced migration/invasion, tumorigenicity, and metastasis of Smad4-null MC38 and SW620 cells; incubation with LY2109761 reversed these effects. In mice, LY2109761 blocked metastasis of CRC cells to liver, inducing cancer cell expression of E-cadherin and reducing the expression of the tumorigenic proteins matrix metalloproteinase-9, nm23, urokinase plasminogen activator, and cyclooxygenase-2. Transgenic expression of Smad4 significantly reduced the oncogenic potential of MC38 and SW620 cells; in these transgenic cells, TGF-beta had tumor suppressor, rather than tumorigenic, effects.TGF-beta/Smad signaling suppresses progression and metastasis of CRC cells and tumors in mice. Loss of Smad4 might underlie the functional shift of TGF-beta from a tumor suppressor to a tumor promoter; inhibitors of TGF-beta signaling might be developed as CRC therapeutics.