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Mol Cell. 2010 Nov 24;40(4):521-32. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2010.10.029.

PARP-1 attenuates Smad-mediated transcription.

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Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Uppsala University, Box 595 Biomedical Center, SE-751 24 Uppsala, Sweden.


The versatile cytokine transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) regulates cellular growth, differentiation, and migration during embryonic development and adult tissue homeostasis. Activation of TGF-β receptors leads to phosphorylation of Smad2 and Smad3, which oligomerize with Smad4 and accumulate in the nucleus where they recognize gene regulatory regions and orchestrate transcription. Termination of Smad-activated transcription involves Smad dephosphorylation, nuclear export, or ubiquitin-mediated degradation. In an unbiased proteomic screen, we identified poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP-1) as a Smad-interacting partner. PARP-1 dissociates Smad complexes from DNA by ADP-ribosylating Smad3 and Smad4, which attenuates Smad-specific gene responses and TGF-β-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition. Thus, our results identify ADP-ribosylation of Smad proteins by PARP-1 as a key step in controlling the strength and duration of Smad-mediated transcription.

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