Specificity and versatility in tgf-beta signaling through Smads.

Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Biology of Inflammation Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.
Annual Review of Cell and Developmental Biology (Impact Factor: 20.24). 02/2005; 21:659-93. DOI: 10.1146/annurev.cellbio.21.022404.142018
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The TGF-beta family comprises many structurally related differentiation factors that act through a heteromeric receptor complex at the cell surface and an intracellular signal transducing Smad complex. The receptor complex consists of two type II and two type I transmembrane serine/threonine kinases. Upon phosphorylation by the receptors, Smad complexes translocate into the nucleus, where they cooperate with sequence-specific transcription factors to regulate gene expression. The vertebrate genome encodes many ligands, fewer type II and type I receptors, and only a few Smads. In contrast to the perceived simplicity of the signal transduction mechanism with few Smads, the cellular responses to TGF-beta ligands are complex and context dependent. This raises the question of how the specificity of the ligand-induced signaling is achieved. We review the molecular basis for the specificity and versatility of signaling by the many ligands through this conceptually simple signal transduction mechanism.

1 Bookmark
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Defective paracrine Transforming Growth Factor-β (TGF-β) signaling between endothelial cells and the neighboring mural cells have been thought to lead to the development of vascular lesions that are characteristic of Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia (HHT). This review highlights recent progress in our understanding of TGF-β signaling in mural cell recruitment and vessel stabilization and how perturbed TGF-β signaling might contribute to defective endothelial-mural cell interaction affecting vessel functionalities. Our recent findings have provided exciting insights into the role of thalidomide, a drug that reduces both the frequency and the duration of epistaxis in individuals with HHT by targeting mural cells. These advances provide opportunities for the development of new therapies for vascular malformations.
    Frontiers in Genetics 03/2015;
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) functions as a tumor suppressor in premalignant cells but as a metastasis promoter in cancer cells. The dichotomous functions of TGF-β are proposed to be dictated by different partners of its downstream effector Smads. However, the mechanism for the contextual changes of Smad partners remained undefined. Here, we demonstrate that 14-3-3ζ destabilizes p53, a Smad partner in premalignant mammary epithelial cells, by downregulating 14-3-3σ, thus turning off TGF-β's tumor suppression function. Conversely, 14-3-3ζ stabilizes Gli2 in breast cancer cells, and Gli2 partners with Smads to activate PTHrP and promote TGF-β-induced bone metastasis. The 14-3-3ζ-driven contextual changes of Smad partners from p53 to Gli2 may serve as biomarkers and therapeutic targets of TGF-β-mediated cancer progression.
    Cancer Cell 02/2015; 27(2). · 23.89 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A mammalian organism possesses a hierarchy of naturally evolved protective mechanisms against ischemic myocardial injury at the molecular, cellular, and organ levels. These mechanisms comprise regional protective processes, including upregulation and secretion of paracrine cell-survival factors, inflammation, angiogenesis, fibrosis, and resident stem cell-based cardiomyocyte regeneration. There are also interactive protective processes between the injured heart, circulation, and selected remote organs, defined as trans-system protective mechanisms, including upregulation and secretion of endocrine cell-survival factors from the liver and adipose tissue as well as mobilization of bone marrow, splenic, and hepatic cells to the injury site to mediate myocardial protection and repair. The injured heart and activated remote organs exploit molecular and cellular processes, including signal transduction, gene expression, cell proliferation, differentiation, migration, mobilization, and/or extracellular matrix production, to establish protective mechanisms. Both regional and trans-system cardioprotective mechanisms are mediated by paracrine and endocrine messengers and act in coordination and synergy to maximize the protective effect, minimize myocardial infarction, and improve myocardial function, ensuring the survival and timely repair of the injured heart. The concept of the trans-system protective mechanisms may be generalized to other organ systems-injury in one organ may initiate regional as well as trans-system protective responses, thereby minimizing injury and ensuring the survival of the entire organism. Selected trans-system processes may serve as core protective mechanisms that can be exploited by selected organs in injury. These naturally evolved protective mechanisms are the foundation for developing protective strategies for myocardial infarction and injury-induced disorders in other organ systems. © 2015 American Physiological Society. Compr Physiol 5: 167-192, 2015.
    Comprehensive Physiology. 01/2015; 5(1):167-92.


Available from