Gene regulation by different proteins of TGFβ superfamily

  • Datum:
  • Plats: Room B42, BMC, Husargatan 3, Uppsala
  • Doktorand: Maturi, Varun
  • Om avhandlingen
  • Arrangör: Ludwiginstitutet för cancerforskning
  • Kontaktperson: Maturi, Varun
  • Disputation


The present thesis discusses how gene regulation by transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) family cytokines is affected by post-translational modifications of different transcription factors. The thesis also focuses on gene regulation by transcription factors involved in TGFβ signaling.

The importance of the poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) family in controlling gene expression in response to TGFβ and bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) is analyzed first. PARP2, along with PARP1, ADP-ribosylates Smad2 and Smad3, the signaling mediators of TGFβ. On the other hand, poly ADP-ribose glycohydrolase (PARG) removes the ADP-ribose from Smad2/3 and antagonizes PARP1 and PARP2. ADP-ribosylation of Smads in turn affects their DNA binding capacity. We then illustrate how PARP1 and PARG can regulate gene expression in response to BMP that signals via Smad1, 5. Over-expression of PARP1 suppressed the transcriptional activity of Smad1/5. Knockdown of PARP1 or over-expression of PARG enhanced the transcriptional activity of BMP-Smads on target genes. Hence our data suggest that ADP-ribosylation of Smad proteins controls both TGFβ and BMP signaling. 

I then focus on elucidating novel genes that are regulated by ZEB1 and Snail1, two key transcriptional factors in TGFβ signaling, known for their ability to induce EMT and cancer metastasis. Chromatin immunoprecipitation-sequencing (ChIP-seq) and targeted whole genome transcriptomics in triple negative breast cancer cells were used, to find binding regions and the functional impact of ZEB1 and Snail1 throughout the genome. ZEB1 binds to the regulatory sequences of a wide range of genes, not only related to cell invasion, pointing to new functions of ZEB1. On the other hand, Snail1 regulated only a few genes, especially related to signal transduction and cellular movement. Further functional analysis revealed that ZEB1 could regulate the anchorage-independent growth of the triple negative breast cancer cells, whereas Snail1 could regulate the expression of BMP6 in these cells. We have therefore elucidated novel functional roles of the two transcription factors, Snail1 and ZEB1 in triple negative breast cancer cells.