Spatio-temporal activation of Smad1 and Smad5 in vivo: monitoring transcriptional activity of Smad proteins

Rui M. Monteiro, Susana M. Chuva de Sousa Lopes, Olexander Korchynskyi, Peter ten Dijke, Christine L. Mummery*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Citations (Scopus)


Signaling by bone morphogenetic proteins is essential for a wide variety of developmental processes. Receptor-regulated Smad proteins, Smads 1 and 5, are intracellular mediators of bone morphogenetic protein signaling. Together with Smad4, these proteins translocate to the nucleus and modulate transcription by binding to specific sequences on the promoters of target genes. We sought to map transcriptional Smad1/5 activity in development by generating embryonic stem cell lines carrying a Smad1/5-specific response element derived from the Id1 promoter coupled to β-galactosidase or luciferase as reporters. Three independent lines (BRE-lac1, BRE-lac2 and BRE-luc) have shown the existence of an autocrine bone morphogenetic protein signaling pathway in mouse embryonic stem cells. Reporter activity was detected in chimeric embryos, suggesting sensitivity to physiological concentrations of bone morphogenetic protein. Reporter activity in embryos from transgenic mouse lines was detected in tissues where an essential role for active bone morphogenetic protein signaling via Smads 1 or 5 had been previously established. We have thus generated, for the first time, an in vivo readout for studying the role of Smad1/5-mediated transcriptional activity in development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4653-4663
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Cell Science
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2004


  • BMP responsive element
  • Embryonic stem cells
  • Reporter mice
  • Smad1/5

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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