Open biology

USP11 augments TGFβ signalling by deubiquitylating ALK5.

PMID 22773947


The TGFβ receptors signal through phosphorylation and nuclear translocation of SMAD2/3. SMAD7, a transcriptional target of TGFβ signals, negatively regulates the TGFβ pathway by recruiting E3 ubiquitin ligases and targeting TGFβ receptors for ubiquitin-mediated degradation. In this report, we identify a deubiquitylating enzyme USP11 as an interactor of SMAD7. USP11 enhances TGFβ signalling and can override the negative effects of SMAD7. USP11 interacts with and deubiquitylates the type I TGFβ receptor (ALK5), resulting in enhanced TGFβ-induced gene transcription. The deubiquitylase activity of USP11 is required to enhance TGFβ-induced gene transcription. RNAi-mediated depletion of USP11 results in inhibition of TGFβ-induced SMAD2/3 phosphorylation and TGFβ-mediated transcriptional responses. Central to TGFβ pathway signalling in early embryogenesis and carcinogenesis is TGFβ-induced epithelial to mesenchymal transition. USP11 depletion results in inhibition of TGFβ-induced epithelial to mesenchymal transition.