Posts Tagged ‘Transforming growth factor beta’

Aortic Aneurysm Pathogenesis: The Role of TGFβRIIb Mutations in  Altering Transforming Growth Factor β2 Signal Transduction

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

TGFβRIIb Mutations Trigger Aortic Aneurysm Pathogenesis by Altering Transforming Growth Factor β2 Signal Transduction

Katharine J. Bee, PhD, David C. Wilkes, PhD, Richard B. Devereux, MD, Craig T. Basson, MD, PhD and Cathy J. Hatcher, PhD

Author Affiliations

From the Center for Molecular Cardiology, Greenberg Division of Cardiology, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY.

Correspondence to Cathy J. Hatcher, PhD, Greenberg Division of Cardiology, Weill Cornell Medical College, 525 E. 68th St, New York, NY 10065. E-mailcjhatche@med.cornell.edu


Background—Thoracic aortic aneurysm (TAA) is a common progressive disorder involving gradual dilation of the ascending and/or descending thoracic aorta that eventually leads to dissection or rupture. Nonsydromic TAA can occur as a genetically triggered, familial disorder that is usually transmitted in a monogenic autosomal dominant fashion and is known as familial TAA. Genetic analyses of families affected with TAA have identified several chromosomal loci, and further mapping of familial TAA genes has highlighted disease-causing mutations in at least 4 genes: myosin heavy chain 11 (MYH11), α-smooth muscle actin (ACTA2), and transforming growth factor β receptors I and II (TGFβRI and TGFβRII).

Methods and Results—We evaluated 100 probands to determine the mutation frequency in MYH11ACTA2TGFβRI, and TGFβRII in an unbiased population of individuals with genetically mediated TAA. In this study, 9% of patients had a mutation in one of the genes analyzed, 3% of patients had mutations in ACTA2, 3% in MYH11, 1% in TGFβRII, and no mutations were found in TGFβRI. Additionally, we identified mutations in a 75 base pair alternatively spliced TGFβRII exon, exon 1a that produces the TGFβRIIb isoform and accounted for 2% of patients with mutations. Our in vitro analyses indicate that the TGFβRIIb activating mutations alter receptor function on TGFβ2 signaling.

Conclusions—We propose that TGFβRIIb expression is a regulatory mechanism for TGFβ2 signal transduction. Dysregulation of the TGFβ2 signaling pathway, as a consequence of TGFβRIIb mutations, results in aortic aneurysm pathogenesis.


Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics.2012; 5: 621-629

Published online before print October 24, 2012,doi: 10.1161/ CIRCGENETICS.112.964064


Read Full Post »

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN


MED12 Controls the Response to Multiple Cancer Drugs through Regulation of TGF-β Receptor Signaling

Cell, Volume 151, Issue 5, 937-950, 21 November 2012
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Referred to by: A Mediator Lost in the War on Cancer


  • Highlights
  • MED12 loss causes resistance to many cancer drugs through enhanced TGF-β signaling
  • MED12 inhibits TGF-β receptor signaling through physical interaction in the cytoplasm
  • MED12-regulated genes are predictive for responses to cancer drugs in patients
  • MED12-deficient tumors may benefit from therapy that includes a TGF-β inhibitor


Inhibitors of the ALK and EGF receptor tyrosine kinases provoke dramatic but short-lived responses in lung cancers harboring EML4-ALK translocations or activating mutations of EGFR, respectively. We used a large-scale RNAi screen to identify MED12, a component of the transcriptional MEDIATOR complex that is mutated in cancers, as a determinant of response to ALK and EGFR inhibitors. MED12 is in part cytoplasmic where it negatively regulates TGF-βR2 through physical interaction. MED12 suppression therefore results in activation of TGF-βR signaling, which is both necessary and sufficient for drug resistance. TGF-β signaling causes MEK/ERK activation, and consequently MED12 suppression also confers resistance to MEK and BRAF inhibitors in other cancers. MED12 loss induces an EMT-like phenotype, which is associated with chemotherapy resistance in colon cancer patients and to gefitinib in lung cancer. Inhibition of TGF-βR signaling restores drug responsiveness in MED12KD cells, suggesting a strategy to treat drug-resistant tumors that have lost MED12.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: