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Mech Dev. 2002 Dec;119(2):239-49.

Targeted disruption of the Tab1 gene causes embryonic lethality and defects in cardiovascular and lung morphogenesis.

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Center for Animal Resources and Development, Graduate School of Molecular and Genomic Pharmacy, Kumamoto University, Honjo 2-2-1, Kumamoto 860-0811, Japan.


The transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) superfamily consists of a group of secreted signaling molecules that perform important roles in the regulation of cell growth and differentiation. TGF-beta activated kinase-1 binding protein-1 (TAB1) was identified as a molecule that activates TGF-beta activated kinase-1 (TAK1). Recent studies have revealed that the TAB1-TAK1 interaction plays an important role in signal transduction in vitro, but little is known about the role of these molecules in vivo. To investigate the role of TAB1 during development, we cloned the murine Tab1 gene and disrupted it by homologous recombination. Homozygous Tab1 mutant mice died, exhibiting a bloated appearance with extensive edema and hemorrhage at the late stages of gestation. By histological examinations, it was revealed that mutant embryos exhibited cardiovascular and lung dysmorphogenesis. Tab1 mutant embryonic fibroblast cells displayed drastically reduced TAK1 kinase activities and decreased sensitivity to TGF-beta stimulation. These results indicate a possibility that TAB1 plays an important role in mammalian embryogenesis and is required for TAK1 activation in TGF-beta signaling.

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