Indexed on: 24 May '15Published on: 24 May '15Published in: Biochimica et biophysica acta
Ski and SnoN proteins function as transcriptional co-repressors in the TGF-β pathway. They regulate cell proliferation and differentiation, and their aberrant expression results in altered TGF-β signalling, malignant transformation, and alterations in cell proliferation.We carried out a comparative characterization of the endogenous Ski and SnoN protein regulation by TGF-β, cell adhesion disruption and actin-cytoskeleton rearrangements between normal and transformed hepatocytes; we also analyzed Ski and SnoN protein stability, subcellular localization, and how their protein levels impact the TGF-β/Smad-driven gene transcription.Ski and SnoN protein levels are lower in normal hepatocytes than in hepatoma cells. They exhibit a very short half-life and a nuclear/cytoplasmic distribution in normal hepatocytes opposed to a high stability and restricted nuclear localization in hepatoma cells. Interestingly, while normal cells exhibit a transient TGF-β-induced gene expression, the hepatoma cells are characterized by a strong and sustained TGF-β-induced gene expression. A novel finding is that Ski and SnoN stability is differentially regulated by cell adhesion and cytoskeleton rearrangements in the normal hepatocytes. The inhibition of protein turnover down-regulated both Ski and SnoN co-repressors impacting the kinetic of expression of TGF-β-target genes.Normal regulatory mechanisms controlling Ski and SnoN stability, subcellular localization and expression are altered in hepatocarcinoma cells.This work provides evidence that Ski and SnoN protein regulation is far more complex in normal than in transformed cells, since many of the normal regulatory mechanisms are lost in transformed cells.