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Nuclear export of Smad2 and Smad3 by RanBP3 facilitates termination of TGF-beta signaling.

Dai F., Lin X., Chang C., Feng X.H.

Smad2 and Smad3 (Smad2/3) are key intracellular signal transducers for TGF-beta signaling, and their transcriptional activities are controlled through reversible phosphorylation and nucleocytoplasmic shuttling. However, the precise mechanism underlying nuclear export of Smad2/3 remains elusive. Here we report the essential function of RanBP3 in selective nuclear export of Smad2/3 in the TGF-beta pathway. RanBP3 directly recognizes dephosphorylated Smad2/3, which results from the activity of nuclear Smad phosphatases, and mediates nuclear export of Smad2/3 in a Ran-dependent manner. As a result, increased expression of RanBP3 inhibits TGF-beta signaling in mammalian cells and Xenopus embryos. Conversely, depletion of RanBP3 expression or dominant-negative inhibition of RanBP3 enhances TGFbeta-induced antiproliferative and transcriptional responses. In conclusion, our study supports a definitive role for RanBP3 in mediating Smad2/3 nuclear export and terminating TGF-beta signaling.

Dev. Cell 16:345-357(2009) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]