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EMBO Rep January 1, 2020; 21 (5): e48693.

Wip1 regulates Smad4 phosphorylation and inhibits TGF-β signaling.

Park DS , Yoon GH , Kim EY , Lee T , Kim K , Lee PC , Chang EJ , Choi SC .

The tumor suppressor Smad4, a key mediator of the TGF-β/BMP pathways, is essential for development and tissue homeostasis. Phosphorylation of Smad4 in its linker region catalyzed by the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) plays a pivotal role in regulating its transcriptional activity and stability. In contrast, roles of Smad4 dephosphorylation as a control mechanism of TGF-β/BMP signaling and the phosphatases responsible for its dephosphorylation remain so far elusive. Here, we identify Wip1 as a Smad4 phosphatase. Wip1 selectively binds and dephosphorylates Smad4 at Thr277, a key MAPK phosphorylation site, thereby regulating its nuclear accumulation and half-life. In Xenopus embryos, Wip1 limits mesoderm formation and favors neural induction by inhibiting TGF-β/BMP signals. Wip1 restrains TGF-β-induced growth arrest, migration, and invasion in human cells and enhances the tumorigenicity of cancer cells by repressing the antimitogenic activity of Smad4. We propose that Wip1-dependent dephosphorylation of Smad4 is critical for the regulation of TGF-β signaling.

PubMed ID: 32103600
PMC ID: PMC7202204
Article link: EMBO Rep
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: mapk1 smad4.2

References [+] :
Agius, Endodermal Nodal-related signals and mesoderm induction in Xenopus. 2000, Pubmed, Xenbase