Skip to main content
Unpublished Paper
Caenorhabditis elegans Genes sma-2, sma-3, and sma-4 Define a Conserved Family of Transforming Growth Factor β Pathway Components
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • Cathy Savage
  • Pradeep Das
  • Alyce L. Finelli
  • Scott R. Townsend
  • Ching-Yu Sun
  • Scott Everet Baird, Wright State University - Main Campus
  • Richard W. Padgett
Document Type
Article
Publication Date
1-1-1996
Abstract
Although transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) superfamily ligands play critical roles in diverse developmental processes, how cells transduce signals from these ligands is still poorly understood. Cell surface receptors for these ligands have been identified, but their cytoplasmic targets are unknown. We have identified three Caenorhabditis elegans genes, sma-2, sma-3, and sma-4, that have mutant phenotypes similar to those of the TGF-β-like receptor gene daf-4, indicating that they are required for daf-4-mediated developmental processes. We show that sma-2 functions in the same cells as daf-4, consistent with a role in transducing signals from the receptor. These three genes define a protein family, the dwarfins, that includes the Mad gene product, which participates in the decapentaplegic TGF-β-like pathway in Drosophila [Sekelsky, J. J., Newfeld, S. J., Raftery, L. A., Chartoff, E. H. & Gelbart, W. M. (1995) Genetics 139, 1347-1358]. The identification of homologous components of these pathways in distantly related organisms suggests that dwarfins may be universally required for TGF-β-like signal transduction. In fact, we have isolated highly conserved dwarfins from vertebrates, indicating that these components are not idiosyncratic to invertebrates. These analyses suggest that dwarfins are conserved cytoplasmic signal transducers.
Citation Information
Cathy Savage, Pradeep Das, Alyce L. Finelli, Scott R. Townsend, et al.. "Caenorhabditis elegans Genes sma-2, sma-3, and sma-4 Define a Conserved Family of Transforming Growth Factor β Pathway Components" Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Vol. 93 (1996) p. 790 - 794 ISSN: 00278424
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/scott_baird/13/