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J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2001;83-A Suppl 1(Pt 1):S31-9.

Transcriptional regulation by Smads: crosstalk between the TGF-beta and Wnt pathways.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Several studies have shown that cooperation between transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) and Wnt/wingless signaling pathways plays a role in controlling certain developmental events. These factors elicit their biological effects through distinct pathways in which TGF-beta and Wnt signaling induce activation of the transcriptional regulators Smads and lymphoid enhancer binding factor/T-cell-specific factor (LEF/TCF), respectively. To understand the mechanism for cooperativity between these pathways, we have investigated the molecular mechanism for this synergistic effect.

METHODS:

Transcriptional assays were conducted by transient transfection of HepG2 cells with use of luciferase reporter constructs. Protein/protein interaction studies were conducted in vitro with the use of glutathione-S-transferase pull-down assays and in intact cells by immunoprecipitation and immunoblotting.

RESULTS:

We show that Smads physically interact with LEF1/TCF transcription factors and that specific DNA binding sites in the Xenopus twin promoter are required for synergistic activation by TGF-beta and Wnt pathways. In addition, we demonstrate that TGF-beta-dependent activation of LEF1/TCF target genes can occur independently of beta-catenin, an essential component of the Wnt signaling pathway.

CONCLUSIONS:

TGF-beta and Wnt signaling pathways can independently or cooperatively regulate LEF1/TCF target genes. This suggests that the cooperation between these pathways may be important for the specification of cell fates during development.

PMID:
11263663
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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