Pin1 down-regulates transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) signaling by inducing degradation of Smad proteins.
Transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) is crucial in numerous cellular processes, such as proliferation, differentiation, migration, and apoptosis. TGF-beta signaling is transduced by intracellular Smad proteins that are regulated by the ubiquitin-proteasome system. Smad ubiquitin regulatory factor 2 (Smurf2) prevents TGF-beta and bone morphogenetic protein signaling by interacting with Smads and inducing their ubiquitin-mediated degradation. Here we identified Pin1, a peptidylprolyl cis-trans isomerase, as a novel protein binding Smads. Pin1 interacted with Smad2 and Smad3 but not Smad4; this interaction was enhanced by the phosphorylation of (S/T)P motifs in the Smad linker region. (S/T)P motif phosphorylation also enhanced the interaction of Smad2/3 with Smurf2. Pin1 reduced Smad2/3 protein levels in a manner dependent on its peptidyl-prolyl cis-trans isomerase activity. Knockdown of Pin1 increased the protein levels of endogenous Smad2/3. In addition, Pin1 both enhanced the interaction of Smurf2 with Smads and enhanced Smad ubiquitination. Pin1 inhibited TGF-beta-induced transcription and gene expression, suggesting that Pin1 negatively regulates TGF-beta signaling by down-regulating Smad2/3 protein levels via induction of Smurf2-mediated ubiquitin-proteasomal degradation.