Transforming growth factor-β/SMAD Target gene SKIL is negatively regulated by the transcriptional cofactor complex SNON-SMAD4

Angeles C Tecalco-Cruz, Marcela Sosa-Garrocho, Genaro Vázquez-Victorio, Layla Ortiz-García, Elisa Domínguez-Hüttinger, Marina Macías-Silva
Journal of Biological Chemistry 2012 August 3, 287 (32): 26764-76
The human SKI-like (SKIL) gene encodes the SMAD transcriptional corepressor SNON that antagonizes TGF-β signaling. SNON protein levels are tightly regulated by the TGF-β pathway: whereas a short stimulation with TGF-β decreases SNON levels by its degradation via the proteasome, longer TGF-β treatment increases SNON levels by inducing SKIL gene expression. Here, we investigated the molecular mechanisms involved in the self-regulation of SKIL gene expression by SNON. Bioinformatics analysis showed that the human SKIL gene proximal promoter contains a TGF-β response element (TRE) bearing four groups of SMAD-binding elements that are also conserved in mouse. Two regions of 408 and 648 bp of the human SKIL gene (∼2.4 kb upstream of the ATG initiation codon) containing the core promoter, transcription start site, and the TRE were cloned for functional analysis. Binding of SMAD and SNON proteins to the TRE region of the SKIL gene promoter after TGF-β treatment was demonstrated by ChIP and sequential ChIP assays. Interestingly, the SNON-SMAD4 complex negatively regulated basal SKIL gene expression through binding the promoter and recruiting histone deacetylases. In response to TGF-β signal, SNON is removed from the SKIL gene promoter, and then the activated SMAD complexes bind the promoter to induce SKIL gene expression. Subsequently, the up-regulated SNON protein in complex with SMAD4 represses its own expression as part of the negative feedback loop regulating the TGF-β pathway. Accordingly, when the SNON-SMAD4 complex is absent as in some cancer cells lacking SMAD4 the regulation of some TGF-β target genes is modified.

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