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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2001 May 22;98(11):6198-203.

c-Jun interacts with the corepressor TG-interacting factor (TGIF) to suppress Smad2 transcriptional activity.

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  • 1Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale U 482, Hôpital Saint-Antoine, 184 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine, 75571, Paris Cedex 12, France.


The Sma and Mad related (Smad) family proteins are critical mediators of the transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) superfamily signaling. After TGF-beta-mediated phosphorylation and association with Smad4, Smad2 moves to the nucleus and activates expression of specific genes through cooperative interactions with DNA-binding proteins, including members of the winged-helix family of transcription factors, forkhead activin signal transducer (FAST)-1 and FAST2. TGF-beta has also been described to activate other signaling pathways, such as the c-Jun N-terminal Kinase (JNK) pathway. Here, we show that activation of JNK cascade blocked the ability of Smad2 to mediate TGF-beta-dependent activation of the FAST proteins. This inhibitory activity is mediated through the transcriptional factor c-Jun, which enhances the association of Smad2 with the nuclear transcriptional corepressor TG-interacting factor (TGIF), thereby interfering with the assembly of Smad2 and the coactivator p300 in response to TGF-beta signaling. Interestingly, c-Jun directly binds to the nuclear transcriptional corepressor TGIF and is required for TGIF-mediated repression of Smad2 transcriptional activity. These studies thus reveal a mechanism for suppression of Smad2 signaling pathway by JNK cascade through transcriptional repression.

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