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Gene Review

sma-6  -  Protein SMA-6

Caenorhabditis elegans

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High impact information on sma-6

  • Using genetic methods, we show that lon-1 lies downstream of the Sma/Mab signaling cascade and demonstrate that lon-1 mRNA levels are up-regulated in sma-6-null mutant animals [1].
  • We then examined the ability of SMA-6 expression in different regions of the C. elegans body to rescue the sma-6 phenotype (small) and found that hypodermal expression of SMA-6 is necessary and sufficient for the growth and maintenance of body length [2].
  • Using a SMA-6::GFP (green fluorescent protein) reporter gene, sma-6 was highly expressed in the hypodermis, unlike the type-II receptor DAF-4, which is reported to be ubiquitously expressed [2].
  • Null mutations in sma-3 are at least as severe as null mutations in the ligand and type I receptor genes, dbl-1 and sma-6, indicating that the other Smads do not function in the absence of SMA-3 [3].
  • To understand the mechanisms of body size control in C. elegans, we analysed sma-2, sma-4 and sma-6 small mutants in the DBL-1 pathway [4].

Biological context of sma-6

  • The closest homologue is a Caenorhabditis elegans gene (Q09488) in cosmid C32D5.2 which shares 67% amino acid identity with Bp-trk-1 in the most conserved kinase domain (aa 259-482) [5].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of sma-6

  • In situ hybridization analysis revealed the spatial and temporal expression patterns of each clone and showed that at least four genes, including the gene for the type I receptor for DBL-1, sma-6, were transcriptionally regulated by the DBL-1 signal [6].


  1. lon-1 regulates Caenorhabditis elegans body size downstream of the dbl-1 TGF beta signaling pathway. Maduzia, L.L., Gumienny, T.L., Zimmerman, C.M., Wang, H., Shetgiri, P., Krishna, S., Roberts, A.F., Padgett, R.W. Dev. Biol. (2002) [Pubmed]
  2. Hypodermal expression of Caenorhabditis elegans TGF-beta type I receptor SMA-6 is essential for the growth and maintenance of body length. Yoshida, S., Morita, K., Mochii, M., Ueno, N. Dev. Biol. (2001) [Pubmed]
  3. SMA-3 smad has specific and critical functions in DBL-1/SMA-6 TGFbeta-related signaling. Savage-Dunn, C., Tokarz, R., Wang, H., Cohen, S., Giannikas, C., Padgett, R.W. Dev. Biol. (2000) [Pubmed]
  4. Mechanisms for the control of body size by a G-kinase and a downstream TGFbeta signal pathway in Caenorhabditis elegans. Nagamatsu, Y., Ohshima, Y. Genes Cells (2004) [Pubmed]
  5. A member of the TGF-beta receptor gene family in the parasitic nematode Brugia pahangi. Gomez-Escobar, N., van den Biggelaar, A., Maizels, R. Gene (1997) [Pubmed]
  6. Identification of transforming growth factor-beta- regulated genes in caenorhabditis elegans by differential hybridization of arrayed cDNAs. Mochii, M., Yoshida, S., Morita, K., Kohara, Y., Ueno, N. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1999) [Pubmed]
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