Transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-beta1) is an important growth inhibitor of epithelial cells and insensitivity to this cytokine results in uncontrolled cell proliferation and can contribute to tumorigenesis. TGF-beta1 signals through the TGF-beta type I and type II receptors, and activates the Smad pathway via phosphorylation of Smad2 and Smad3. Since little is known about the selective activation of Smad2 versus Smad3, we set out to identify novel Smad2 and Smad3 interacting proteins in epithelial cells. A non-transformed human cell line was transduced with Myc-His(6)-Smad2 or Myc-His(6)-Smad3-expressing retrovirus and was treated with TGF-beta1. Myc-His(6)-Smad2 or Myc-His(6)-Smad3 was purified by tandem affinity purification, eluates were subject to SDS-PAGE and Colloidal Blue staining, and select protein bands were digested with trypsin. The resulting tryptic peptides were analyzed by liquid chromatography (LC) and tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) and the SEQUEST algorithm was employed to identify proteins in the bands. A number of proteins that are known to interact with Smad2 or Smad3 were detected in the eluates. In addition, a number of putative novel Smad2 and Smad3 associated proteins were identified that have functions in cell proliferation, apoptosis, actin cytoskeleton regulation, cell motility, transcription, and Ras or insulin signaling. Specifically, the interaction between Smad2/3 and the Cdc42 guanine nucleotide exchange factor, Zizimin1, was validated by co-immunoprecipitation. The discovery of these novel Smad2 and/or Smad3 associated proteins may reveal how Smad2 and Smad3 are regulated and/or uncover new functions of Smad2 and Smad3 in TGF-beta1 signaling.
(c) 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.