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GSBS Dissertations and Theses

2011

Smad Proteins

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Nuclear Import Of Smad: A Dissertation, Xiaochu Chen Aug 2011

Nuclear Import Of Smad: A Dissertation, Xiaochu Chen

GSBS Dissertations and Theses

Signal transduction by transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) cytokines is mediated by an evolutionarily conserved mechanism that depends on the Smad proteins to transduce an extracellular stimulus into the nucleus. In the unstimulated state, Smads spontaneously shuttle across the nuclear envelope and distribute throughout the cell. Upon TGF-β or bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) stimulation, the receptor-activated Smads are phosphorylated, assemble into complexes with Smad4, and become mostly localized in the nucleus. Such signal-induced nuclear translocation of activated Smads is essential for TGF-β–dependent gene regulation that is critical for embryonic development and homeostasis. The molecular machinery responsible for this process ...