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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2011 Feb;1813(2):332-9. doi: 10.1016/j.bbamcr.2010.12.005. Epub 2010 Dec 15.

The type III TGF-β receptor betaglycan transmembrane-cytoplasmic domain fragment is stable after ectodomain cleavage and is a substrate of the intramembrane protease γ-secretase.

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  • 1Cellular and Molecular Biology Graduate Group, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA. cheyneblair@gmail.com


The Type III TGF-β receptor, betaglycan, is a widely expressed proteoglycan co-receptor for TGF-β superfamily ligands. The full-length protein undergoes ectodomain cleavage with release of a soluble ectodomain fragment. The fate of the resulting transmembrane-cytoplasmic fragment, however, has never been explored. We demonstrate here that the transmembrane-cytoplasmic fragment is stable in transfected cells and in cell lines expressing endogenous betaglycan. Production of this fragment is inhibited by the ectodomain shedding inhibitor TAPI-2. Treatment of cells with inhibitors of the intramembrane protease γ-secretase stabilizes this fragment, suggesting that it is a substrate of γ-secretase. Expression of the transmembrane-cytoplasmic fragment as well as γ-secretase inhibitor stabilization are independent of TGF-β1 or -β2 and are unaffected by mutation of the cytoplasmic domain serines that undergo phosphorylation. γ-Secretase inhibition or the expression of a transmembrane-cytoplasmic fragment in HepG2 cells blunted TGF-β2 signaling. Our findings thus suggest that the transmembrane-cytoplasmic fragment remaining after betaglycan ectodomain cleavage is stable and a substrate of γ-secretase, which may have significant implications for the TGF-β signaling response.

2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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