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EMBO J. 2003 Dec 15;22(24):6458-70.

Arkadia amplifies TGF-beta superfamily signalling through degradation of Smad7.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, The Cancer Institute of the Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research (JFCR), Toshima-ku, Tokyo, Japan.


Arkadia was originally identified as a protein that enhances signalling activity of Nodal and induces mammalian nodes during early embryogenesis; however, the mechanisms by which Arkadia affects transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) superfamily signalling have not been determined. Here we show that Arkadia is widely expressed in mammalian tissues, and that it enhances both TGF-beta and bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signalling. Arkadia physically interacts with inhibitory Smad, Smad7, and induces its poly-ubiquitination and degradation. In contrast to Smurf1, which interacts with TGF-beta receptor complexes through Smad7 and degrades them, Arkadia fails to associate with TGF-beta receptors. In contrast to Smad7, expression of Arkadia is down-regulated by TGF-beta. Silencing of the Arkadia gene resulted in repression of transcriptional activities induced by TGF-beta and BMP, and accumulation of the Smad7 protein. Arkadia may thus play an important role as an amplifier of TGF-beta superfamily signalling under both physiological and pathological conditions.

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