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Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2003 Sep;285(3):G539-46. Epub 2003 Jun 4.

Transforming growth factor-beta1 downregulation of Smad1 gene expression in rat hepatic stellate cells.

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  • 1Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 Canada.


Smads are intracellular signaling molecules of the transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) superfamily that play an important role in the activation of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) and hepatic fibrosis. Excepting the regulation of Smad7, receptor-regulated Smad gene expression is still unclear. We employed rat HSCs to investigate the expression and regulation of the Smad1 gene, which is a bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) receptor-regulated Smad. We found that the expression and phosphorylation of Smad1 are increased during the activation of HSCs. Moreover, TGF-beta significantly inhibits Smad1 gene expression in HSCs in a time- and dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, although both TGF-beta1 and BMP2 stimulate the activation of HSCs, they have different effects on HSC proliferation. In conclusion, Smad1 expression and phosphorylation are increased during the activation of HSCs and TGF-beta1 significantly inhibits the expression of the Smad1 gene.

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