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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Unique and redundant roles of Smad3 in TGF-beta-mediated regulation of long bone development in organ culture.

The most well-characterized intracellular signaling molecules for transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) are the Smads. R-Smads interact with and are phosphorylated directly by the TGF-beta type I receptor. Phosphorylated R-Smads can then associate with Smad4, translocate to the nucleus and regulate transcription. Specific R-Smads transduce distinct signals for members of the TGF-beta superfamily. Smad2 and -3 mediate signaling by TGF-beta/ activin, whereas Smad1, -5, and -8 mediate bone morphogenetic protein signaling. TGF-beta inhibits proliferation and hypertrophic differentiation in metatarsal organ cultures by a perichondrium-dependent mechanism. To determine the mechanism of TGF-beta signaling in the perichondrium, we tested the hypothesis that TGF-beta-restricted Smad2 and Smad3 regulate chondrocyte proliferation and differentiation in embryonic metatarsal organ cultures. Perichondrium was infected with adenoviruses containing dominant-negative forms of Smad2 (Ad-Smad2-3SA) and Smad3 (Ad-Smad3 Delta C). Proliferation and differentiation were measured in response to treatment with TGF-beta 1. Results were compared with control bones infected with a beta-galactosidase reporter virus (Ad-beta-gal). Infection with Ad-Smad2-3SA completely blocked the effects of TGF-beta 1 on metatarsal development while Ad-Smad3 Delta C only partially blocked TGF-beta 1 effects. To further characterize the role of Smad3 in long bone development, TGF-beta 1 responsiveness in cultures from Smad3(+/+) and Smad3(ex8/ex8) mice were compared. Loss of Smad3 only partially blocked the effects of TGF-beta1 on differentiation. In contrast, the effects of TGF-beta 1 on chondrocyte proliferation were blocked completely. We conclude that Smad2 signaling in the perichondrium can compensate for the loss of Smad3 to regulate inhibition of hypertrophic differentiation; however, Smad3 is required for TGF-beta 1-mediated effects on proliferation.[1]


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