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Smad3 recruits the anaphase-promoting complex for ubiquitination and degradation of SnoN

Abstract

Smad proteins mediate transforming growth factor-b signaling to regulate cell growth and differentiation. SnoN is an important negative regulator of TGFb signaling that functions to maintain the repressed state of TGFb target genes in the absence of ligand. Upon TGFb stimulation, Smad3 and Smad2 translocate into the nucleus and induce a rapid degradation of SnoN, allowing activation of TGFb target genes. Here we show that Smad2- or Smad3-induced degradation of SnoN requires the ubiquitin-dependent proteasome and can be mediated by the anaphase promoting complex (APC) and the UbcH5 family of ubiquitin conjugating enzymes. Smad3 and to a lesser extent, Smad2, interact with both the APC and SnoN, resulting in the recruitment of the APC to SnoN and subsequent ubiquitination of SnoN in a destruction box-dependent manner. In addition to the destruction box, efficient degradation of SnoN also requires the Smad3 binding site in SnoN as well as key lysine residues necessary for ubiquitin attachment. Mutation of either the Smad3 binding site or lysine residues results in stabilization of SnoN and in enhanced antagonism of TGFb signaling. Our studies elucidate an important pathway for the degradation of SnoN and reveal a novel role of the APC in regulation of TGFb signaling.

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