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J Biol Chem. 2002 Jan 4;277(1):854-61. Epub 2001 Oct 31.

c-myc is a downstream target of the Smad pathway.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, The Cancer Institute of the Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research and Research for the Future Program, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, 1-37-1 Kami-ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo 170-8455, Japan.


c-Myc is one of the most potent regulators of cell cycle progression in higher eukaryotes. Down-regulation of c-Myc is a critical event for growth inhibition induced by transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) and is frequently impaired in cancer cells. We determined a Smad-responsive element in the c-myc promoter. This element is a complex of the TGF-beta1 inhibitory element (TIE) originally identified in the transin/stromelysin promoter and an E2F site responsible for transcriptional activation of the c-myc promoter. Smad3 and E2F-4 directly bound to the element (TIE/E2F), and substitution of two nucleotides in TIE/E2F impaired binding of both Smad3 and E2F-4 as well as serum-induced activation and TGF-beta-induced suppression of the c-myc promoter activity. Smads bound TIE/E2F within 1 h after stimulation with TGF-beta, before the suppression of c-myc transcription, whereas binding of p130 to TIE/E2F became augmented later than 12 h. TGF-beta signaling did not compete with E2F-4 for binding to TIE/E2F, but reduced p300 co-immunoprecipitating with E2F-4. Therefore, TGF-beta signaling may suppress c-myc promoter activity by dissociating p300 from E2F-4.

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