[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: TIF1γ, a new actor of TGFβ signaling, inhibits the Smad4-mediated TGFβ response by interaction with Smad2/3 or ubiquitination of Smad4. We have shown that TIF1γ participates in TGFβ signaling as a negative regulator of Smad4 during the TGFβ-induced epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in mammary epithelial cells and during terminal differentiation of mammary alveolar epithelial cells and lactation. We demonstrate here that TIF1γ is sumoylated and interacts with Ubc9, the only known SUMO-conjugating enzyme. Four functional sumoylation sites lie within the middle domain of TIF1γ, the Smad interaction domain. We show that a sumoylation-defective TIF1γ mutant significantly reduces TIF1γ inhibition of Smad complexes and that of the Smad-mediated TGFβ transcriptional response. Moreover, chromatin immunoprecipitation experiments indicate that TIF1γ sumoylation is required to limit Smad4 binding on the PAI-1 TGFβ target gene promoter. Ectopic expression of TIF1γ in mammary epithelial cells inhibits TGFβ-induced EMT, an effect relieved by expression of non-sumoylated TIF1γ. Taken together, our results identify a new TGFβ regulatory layer, whereby sumoylation strengthens the TIF1γ repressive action on canonical TGFβ signaling.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2013 · Journal of Cell Science
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: FLRG (follistatin-related gene) is a secreted glycoprotein which is very similar to follistatin. As observed for follistatin, FLRG is involved in the regulation of various biological processes through its binding to members of the TGFbeta (transforming growth factor beta) superfamily, activin, BMPs (bone morphogenetic proteins) and myostatin. Unlike follistatin, FLRG has been found to be both secreted and localized within the nucleus of many FLRG-producing cells, suggesting the existence of specific intracellular functions of the protein.
In order to analyse the function of the nuclear form of FLRG, we performed a yeast two-hybrid screen, in which we identified AF10 [ALL1 (acute lymphoblastic leukaemia) fused gene from chromosome 10], a translocation partner of the MLL (mixed-lineage leukaemia) oncogene in human leukaemia, as a FLRG-interacting protein. This interaction was confirmed by far-Western-blot analysis and co-immunoprecipitation with transfected COS-7 cells. The N-terminal region of AF10, including the PHD (plant homeodomain), is sufficient to mediate this interaction, and has been shown to be involved in AF10 homo-oligomerization. By immunoprecipitation experiments, we showed that FLRG enhances the homo-oligomerization of AF10. Functional studies demonstrated that FLRG enhances the transactivation properties of the AF10 protein fused to Gal4 DNA-binding domains in transient transfection assays.
Our present study provides novel insights into the function of the nuclear form of the FLRG protein, which is revealed as a novel regulator of transcription. The nuclear isoform of FLRG lacks an intrinsic transactivation domain, but enhances AF10-mediated transcription, probably through promoting the homo-oligomerization of AF10, thus facilitating the recruitment of co-activators.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2007 · Biology of the Cell
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Activin, a member of the transforming growth factor beta (TGFbeta) superfamily, regulates diverse processes, such as cellular growth and differentiation. There is increasing evidence that TGFbeta and its signaling effectors are key determinants of tumor cell behavior. Loss of sensitivity to TGFbeta-induced growth arrest is an important step toward malignancy. We previously characterized FLRG as an extracellular antagonist of activin. Here, we show that activin-induced growth inhibition is altered in FLRG-expressing breast cancer lines. Silencing FLRG induced growth inhibition, which is reversible upon addition of exogenous FLRG. We showed that FLRG silencing effects resulted from restoration of endogenous activin functions as shown by increased levels of phosphorylated smad2 and up-regulation of activin target gene transcripts. Furthermore, the growth inhibition induced by FLRG silencing was reversible by treatment with a soluble form of type II activin receptor. Finally, a strong expression of FLRG was observed in invasive breast carcinomas in contrast with the normal luminal epithelial cells in which FLRG was not detected. Our data provide strong evidence that endogenous FLRG contributes to tumor cell proliferation through antagonizing endogenous activin effects.