R P Nagarajan

Indiana University-Purdue University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana, United States

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Publications (8)29.25 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: TG-interacting factor (TGIF) is a transcriptional co-repressor that directly associates with Smad (Sma- and Mad-related protein) proteins and inhibits Smad-mediated transcriptional activation. By using Affymetrix (Santa Clara, CA, U.S.A.) oligonucleotide microarray analysis, we found that TGIF mRNA level was elevated by transforming-growth-factor-beta (TGF-beta) treatment in a human T-cell line, HuT78. Subsequent reverse-transcription PCR assays indicated that TGF-beta1 and activin were able to induce a rapid and transient increase in the level of TGIF in both HuT78 and HepG2 hepatoma cells. To analyse whether or not the regulation of TGIF mRNA occurs at the transcriptional level, a 2.4 kb human TGIF promoter was isolated. A primer extension assay was performed to localize the putative transcription initiation site of the promoter. When transiently expressed in HepG2 cells, this promoter was stimulated by TGF-beta1 and activin treatment in a time-dependent manner. A series of deletion mutants of the TGIF promoter were also generated to further characterize the TGF-beta responsive region of the promoter. In addition, expression of TGIF was able to cause a dose-dependent inhibition of TGF-beta and activin signalling. Taken together, these experiments indicated that TGIF is a novel transcriptional target of TGF-beta and activin signalling and is likely involved in a negative feedback loop to desensitize TGF-beta/activin action.
    Biochemical Journal 05/2003; 371(Pt 2):257-63. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    Xubao Liu, Raman P Nagarajan, Wylie Vale, Yan Chen
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    ABSTRACT: Signal transduction of activin, one of the members in the transforming growth factor-beta superfamily, is initiated by ligand binding with two distinct membrane receptors (type II and type I) followed by activation of Smad2 or Smad3. We report here that activin-induced signaling is negatively regulated by another Smad molecule, Smad7. When expressed in Chinese hamster ovary cells, Smad7 inhibited the transcriptional response induced by either activin treatment or a constitutively active activin type I receptor (ALK-4). In addition, Smad7 also inhibited mouse FAST-2-mediated transactivation of the Xenopus Mix.2 promoter stimulated by the constitutively active ALK-4. Smad7 was able to directly associate with ALK-4 and this association was dependent on the phosphorylation of the type I receptor in its GS domain by activin type II receptors. Expression of kinase defective activin type II receptors decreased the association of Smad7 with ALK-4. Correspondingly, Smad7 bound poorly to a mutant ALK-4 bearing serine to alanine substitutions in four putative phosphorylation sites in its GS domain. These studies not only illustrated the counter regulatory function of Smad7 on activin signaling, but also indicated the involvement of phosphorylation at activin type I receptor in the inhibitory action of Smad7.
    FEBS Letters 06/2002; 519(1-3):93-8. · 3.58 Impact Factor
  • W Li, F Chen, R P Nagarajan, X Liu, Y Chen
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    ABSTRACT: Activation of TGF-beta superfamily receptors leads to phosphorylation of Smad proteins which function as transcription factors to regulate gene expression. Previous studies have indicated that Smad5, together with Smad1 and Smad8, participates in signaling downstream of BMP receptors. To characterize the DNA-binding characteristics of Smad5, we used the GST-Smad5 N-terminal fusion protein to select for random oligonucleotide sequences that were able to binds the protein. As a result, we found that Smad5 is able to bind a consensus sequence TGTGC. We further used the Smad7 promoter sequence that contains a Smad-binding element (SBE), GTCTAGAC to determine how mutations in each nucleotide in the SBE affects the binding with Smad5, compared with the binding with Smad1, Smad2, Smad3, Smad4, and Smad8. Interestingly, Smad5, but not Smad1 and Smad8, was able to bind the SBE, at a level similar to the binding by Smad3 and Smad4. However, mutations at the SBE had different effect on the binding with Smad5, compared to that with Smad3 and Smad4. These studies suggest that even though Smad5 falls into the same subfamily with Smad1 and Smad8 in mediating the signaling by BMP receptors, it has an unique DNA-binding property that is similar to Smad3, which specifically transduces signaling for TGF-beta and activin receptors.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 10/2001; 286(5):1163-9. · 2.41 Impact Factor
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    R P Nagarajan, Y Chen
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    ABSTRACT: Smad2 and Smad3 are signalling proteins that are involved in mediating the transcriptional regulation of target genes downstream of transforming growth factor-beta and activin receptors. Although they are structurally very similar, Smad2 and Smad3 have some functional differences in transducing signals for these receptors. In FAST-2 (forkhead activin signal transducer-2)-mediated transcriptional regulation using the activin-responsive element derived from Xenopus Mix.2 promoter as a reporter, Smad3 but not Smad2 alone was able to stimulate the transcription. In addition, Smad3 was able to inhibit the transactivation of the promoter induced by co-expression of Smad2, Smad4 and an active activin type-I receptor. We used a series of chimaeras between Smad1 and Smad3 and found that the Mad homology 1 (MH1) domain of Smad3 was indispensable for the dual regulatory function of Smad3. However, this Smad3-specific function could not be manifested in Smad2 mutants that were devoid of the two amino acid insertions (at the MH1 domain) that comprise the major structural difference between Smad2 and Smad3, indicating that other structural motifs are involved in determining the regulatory activity of Smad3. By using chimaeras between Smad2 and Smad3, we found that the most N-terminal portion of Smad3 was crucial for its function. Taken together, these results suggest that, as compared with Smad2, the unique function of Smad3 in modulating the FAST-2-mediated transcription is contributed to by a subtle difference in the structural features at the MH1 domain.
    Biochemical Journal 09/2000; 350 Pt 1:253-9. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Activation of transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) and activin receptors leads to phosphorylation of Sma- and Mad-related protein 2 (Smad2) and Smad3, which function as transcription factors to regulate gene expression. Smad7 is a regulatory protein which is able to inhibit TGF-beta and activin signalling in a negative-feedback loop, mediated by a direct regulation by Smad3 and Smad4 via a Smad-binding element (SBE) in the Smad7 promoter. Interestingly, we found that the Smad7 promoter was also regulated by nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB), a transcription factor which plays an important role in inflammation and the immune response. Expression of NF-kappaB p65 subunit was able to inhibit the Smad7 promoter activity, and this inhibition could be reversed by co-expression of IkappaB, an inhibitor of NF-kappaB. In addition, the inhibitory activity of p65 was observed in a minimal promoter that contained only the Smad7 SBE and a TATA box, without any consensus NF-kappaB binding site. This inhibitory effect appeared to be common to other TGF-beta- and activin-responsive promoters, since p65 also inhibited the forkhead-activin-signal-transducer-2-mediated activation of a Xenopus Mix.2 promoter, as well as the Smad3-mediated activation of 3TP-lux which contains PMA-responsive elements and a plasminogen-activator-inhibitor-1 promoter. Activation of endogenous NF-kappaB by tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) was also able to inhibit the Smad7 promoter in human embryonic kidney 293 cells. In human hepatoma HepG2 cells, TNF-alpha was able to inhibit TGF-beta- and activin-mediated transcriptional activation. Furthermore, overexpression of the transcription co-activator p300 could abrogate the inhibitory effect of NF-kappaB on the Smad7 promoter. Taken together, these data have indicated a novel mode of crosstalk between the Smad and the NF-kappaB signalling cascades at the transcriptional level by competing for a limiting pool of transcription co-activators.
    Biochemical Journal 07/2000; 348 Pt 3:591-6. · 4.65 Impact Factor
  • Biochemical Journal - BIOCHEM J. 01/2000; 348(3).
  • Source
    R P Nagarajan, J Zhang, W Li, Y Chen
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    ABSTRACT: Smad7 is a regulatory Smad protein that is able to antagonize signal transduction by transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) and activin receptors. To characterize the regulation of Smad7 at the transcriptional level, we isolated the promoter region of the mouse Smad7 gene. When the Smad7 promoter luciferase reporter gene (-408 and +112 bp) was expressed in human hepatoma (HepG2) cells, its transcriptional activity was increased following TGF-beta or activin treatment. In addition, this region of the Smad7 promoter was stimulated by ectopic expression of Smad3 as well as constitutively active TGF-beta and activin receptors, indicating that Smad7 transcription was modulated by the signaling downstream those two receptors. A gel mobility shift assay indicated that a DNA fragment spanning -408 to -126 base pairs (bp) was able to directly bind purified Smad4. Furthermore, a consensus Smad3-Smad4 binding element (SBE) was discovered in this region of the promoter with a palindromic sequence of GTCTAGAC. A 33-bp Smad7 promoter fragment containing this SBE was able to bind Smad3 and Smad4. In human embryonic kidney 293 cells, the expression of constitutively active TGF-beta type I receptor was able to induce the formation of a Smad3- and Smad4-containing nuclear protein complex that bound the SBE. In HepG2 cells, TGF-beta1 treatment could induce the formation of an endogenous SBE-binding complex. Taken together, these data provided the first evidence that Smad7 transcription is regulated by TGF-beta and activin signaling through direct binding of Smad3 and Smad4 to the Smad7 promoter.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 12/1999; 274(47):33412-8. · 4.65 Impact Factor
  • R P Nagarajan, J Liu, Y Chen
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    ABSTRACT: Transcriptional regulation by transforming growth factor-beta and activin is mediated by interaction of Smad2 and Smad3 with specific transcription factors and/or DNA elements. However, Smad3 behaves differently from Smad2 in regulating transcription by a winged-helix transcription factor, FAST-2, on an activin-responsive element (ARE) in the Xenopus Mix.2 promoter. Smad3 alone was able to stimulate the ARE through FAST-2, but inhibited the ARE transactivation mediated by Smad2/Smad4 following receptor activation. We characterized the functional domains that are involved in these two activities of Smad3. Deletion of the MH1 domain as well as mutations of four lysine residues in the MH1 domain abrogated the inhibitory activity of Smad3, but did not compromise the self-stimulatory function. In contrast, deletion of the MH2 domain or a point mutation of glycine 379 within this domain obliterated the self-stimulatory activity of Smad3, but not the inhibitory activity. In an electrophoretic mobility shift assay, we found that Smad3 was able to associate with the FAST-2.ARE complex and that this association was dependent on FAST-2. In addition, Smad3 was not able to directly bind the ARE in a DNase I protection assay, in which FAST-2 binds the ARE around a motif (TGTGTATT) previously characterized to associate with the human FAST-1 protein. Interestingly, Smad4 was also able to directly associate with the FAST-2.ARE complex through binding with FAST-2. In a gel shift assay, the association of FAST-2 with Smad4 was mutually exclusive from the association with Smad3. Taken together, these data indicate that Smad3 exerts the inhibitory activity by competitive association with FAST-2.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 11/1999; 274(44):31229-35. · 4.65 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

295 Citations
29.25 Total Impact Points


  • 2003
    • Indiana University-Purdue University School of Medicine
      • Medical and Molecular Genetics
      Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
  • 1999–2002
    • Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
      • Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics
      Indianapolis, Indiana, United States