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Direct interaction of c-Myc with Smad2 and Smad3 to inhibit TGF-beta-mediated induction of the CDK inhibitor p15(Ink4B).

The c-Myc oncogene has been implicated in the genesis of diverse human tumors. Ectopic expression of the c-Myc gene in cultured epithelial cells causes resistance to the antiproliferative effects of TGF-beta. However, little is known about the precise mechanisms of c-Myc-mediated TGF-beta resistance. In this study, we reveal that c-Myc physically interacts with Smad2 and Smad3, two specific signal transducers involved in TGF-beta signaling. Through its direct interaction with Smads, c-Myc binds to the Sp1-Smad complex on the promoter of the p15(Ink4B) gene, thereby inhibiting the TGF-beta-induced transcriptional activity of Sp1 and Smad/Sp1-dependent transcription of the p15(Ink4B) gene. These results suggest that oncogenic c-Myc promotes cell growth and cancer development partly by inhibiting the growth inhibitory functions of Smads.

Pubmed ID: 11804592


  • Feng XH
  • Liang YY
  • Liang M
  • Zhai W
  • Lin X


Molecular cell

Publication Data

January 23, 2002

Associated Grants


Mesh Terms

  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Cell Line
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p15
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p16
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinases
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Humans
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Protein Binding
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc
  • Receptors, Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Signal Transduction
  • Smad2 Protein
  • Smad3 Protein
  • Sp1 Transcription Factor
  • Trans-Activators
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins