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Mech Dev February 1, 2001; 100 (2): 251-62.

Dissection of inhibitory Smad proteins: both N- and C-terminal domains are necessary for full activities of Xenopus Smad6 and Smad7.

Nakayama T , Berg LK , Christian JL .

Smad6 and Smad7 comprise a subclass of vertebrate Smads that antagonize, rather than transduce, TGF-beta family signaling. These Anti-Smads can block BMP signaling, as evidenced by their ability to induce a secondary dorsal axis when misexpressed ventrally in Xenopus embryos. Smad7 inhibits additional TGF-beta related pathways, and causes spina bifida when misexpressed dorsally. We have performed structure-function analyses to identify domains of Anti-Smads that are responsible for their shared and unique activities. We find that the C-terminal domain of Smad7 displays strong axis inducing activity but cannot induce spina bifida. The isolated N-terminal domain of Smad7 is inactive but restores the ability of the C-terminus to cause spina bifida when the two are co-expressed. By contrast, the N- and C-terminal domains of Smad6 have weak axis inducing activity when expressed individually, but show full activity when co-expressed. Chimeric analysis demonstrates that the C-terminal domain of Smad7, but not Smad6, can induce spina bifida when fused to the N-terminal domain of either Smad6 or Smad7. Thus, although the C-terminal domain is the primary determinant of the intrinsic activity of Xenopus Anti-Smads, the N-terminal domain is essential for full activity, is interchangeable between Smad6 and 7, and can function in trans.

PubMed ID: 11165482
Article link: Mech Dev
Grant support: [+]
Genes referenced: smad6 smad6.2 smad7

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