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Nucleic Acids Res. 2000 Nov 1;28(21):4291-8.

The transcriptional co-activator P/CAF potentiates TGF-beta/Smad signaling.

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The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Division of Cellular Biochemistry, Plesmanlaan 121, 1066 CX Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Smads perform pivotal functions in the intracellular signaling of transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta). TGF-beta-mediated activation of TGF-beta type I receptor stimulates the phosphorylation of Smad2 and Smad3 and subsequent heteromeric complex formation with Smad4. The heteromeric Smad complexes translocate into the nucleus where they, in co-operation with co-activators and co-repressors, regulate transcriptional responses. Here we investigated the possible co-activator function of P/CAF in TGF-beta/Smad signaling. P/CAF was found to interact directly with Smad3 in vitro. Moreover, Smad2 and Smad3 interacted with P/CAF upon TGF-beta type I receptor activation in cultured mammalian cells. The interaction involves the MH2 domain of Smad3 and the N-terminal region of P/CAF. P/CAF potentiated the transcriptional activity of heterologous Gal4-Smad2 and Gal4-Smad3 fusion proteins. In addition, P/CAF potentiated the TGF-beta/Smad3-induced transcriptional responses, which could be further enhanced by co-activators p300 and Smad4. P/CAF may, therefore, activate Smad-mediated transcriptional responses independently or in co-operation with p300/CBP. Our results indicate a direct physical and functional interplay between two negative regulators of cell proliferation, Smad3 and P/CAF.

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