Domain

MAD homology, MH1 (IPR013019)

Short name: MAD_homology_MH1

Domain relationships

Description

Smad proteins are signal transducers and transcriptional comodulators of the TGF-beta superfamily of ligands, which play a central role in regulating a broad range of cellular responses, including cell growth, differentiation, and specification of developmental fate, in diverse organisms from Caenorhabditis elegans to humans. Ligand binding to specific transmembrane receptor kinases induces receptor oligomerisation and phosphorylation of the receptor specific Smad protein (R-Smad) in the cytoplasm. The R-Smad proteins regulate distinct signalling pathways. Smad1, 5 and 8 mediate the signals of bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs), while Smad2 and 3 mediate the signals of activins and TGF-betas. Upon ligand stimulation, R-Smad proteins are phosphorylated at the conserved C-terminal tail sequence, SS*xS* (where S* denotes a site of phosphorylation). The phosphorylated states of R-Smad proteins form heteromeric complexes with Smad4 and are translocated into the nucleus. In the nucleus, the heteromeric complexes function as gene-specific transcription activators by binding to promoters and interacting with transcriptional coactivators. Smad6 and Smad7 are inhibitory Smad proteins that inhibit TGF-beta signalling by interfering with either receptor-mediated phosphorylation or hetero-oligomerisation between Smad4 and R-Smad proteins. Smad proteins comprise two conserved MAD homology domains, one in the N terminus (MH1) and one in the C terminus (MH2), separated by a more variable, proline-rich linker region. The MH1 domain has a role in DNA binding and negatively regulates the functions of MH2 domain, whereas the MH2 domain is responsible for transactivation and mediates phosphorylation-triggered heteromeric assembly between Smad4 and R-Smad [PMID: 9741623, PMID: 11779503].

The MH1 domain adopts a compact globular fold, with four alpha helices, six short beta strands, and five loops. The N-terminal half of the sequence consists of three alpha helices, and the C-terminal half contains all six beta strands, which form two small beta sheets and one beta hairpin. The fourth alpha helix is located in the hydrophobic core of the molecule, surrounded by the N-terminal three alpha helices on one side and by the two small beta sheets and the beta hairpin on the other side. These secondary structural elements are connected with five intervening surface loops. The MH1 domain employs a novel DNA-binding motif, an 11-residue beta-hairpin formed by strands B2 and B3, to contact DNA in the major groove. Two residues in the L3 loop and immediately preceding strand B2 also contribute significantly to DNA recognition. The beta hairpin appears to protrude outward from the globular MH1 core [PMID: 9741623].

GO terms

Biological Process

GO:0006355 regulation of transcription, DNA-templated
GO:0007179 transforming growth factor beta receptor signaling pathway

Molecular Function

GO:0003700 transcription factor activity, sequence-specific DNA binding

Cellular Component

GO:0005622 intracellular
GO:0005667 transcription factor complex

Contributing signatures

Signatures from InterPro member databases are used to construct an entry.
SUPERFAMILY
PROSITE profiles
GENE3D