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Mol Biol Cell. 2005 Oct;16(10):4672-83. Epub 2005 Aug 10.

The endogenous ratio of Smad2 and Smad3 influences the cytostatic function of Smad3.

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National Research Laboratory for Cancer Epigenetics, Cancer Research Institute, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, 110-799, Korea.


Although Smad2 and Smad3, critical transcriptional mediators of transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) signaling, are supposed to play a role in the TGF-beta cytostatic program, it remains unclear whether TGF-beta delivers cytostatic signals through both Smads equally or through either differentially. Here, we report that TGF-beta cytostatic signals rely on a Smad3-, but not a Smad2-, dependent pathway and that the intensity of TGF-beta cytostatic signals can be modulated by changing the endogenous ratio of Smad3 to Smad2. Depleting endogenous Smad3 by RNA interference sufficiently interfered with TGF-beta cytostatic actions in various TGF-beta-sensitive cell lines, whereas raising the relative endogenous ratio of Smad3 to Smad2, by depleting Smad2, markedly enhanced TGF-beta cytostatic response. Consistently, Smad3 activation and its transcriptional activity upon TGF-beta stimulation were facilitated in Smad2-depleted cells relative to controls. Most significantly, a single event of increasing this ratio by Smad2 depletion was sufficient to restore TGF-beta cytostatic action in cells resistant to TGF-beta. These findings suggest a new important determinant of sensitivity to TGF-beta cytostatic signaling.

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