A transcriptional partner for MAD proteins in TGF-beta signalling

Nature. 1996 Oct 24;383(6602):691-6. doi: 10.1038/383691a0.


The transforming-growth-factor-beta (TGF-beta) superfamily is critical for establishing mesoderm during early embryogenesis in Xenopus. The transcriptional activation of Mix.2, an immediate-early response gene specific to activin-like members of the TGF-beta superfamily, is associated with the rapid appearance of a site-specific DNA-binding activity that recognizes a fifty-base-pair regulatory element known as ARE in the Mix.2 promoter. Cloning of the site-specific DNA-binding component of this activity revealed it to be a new winged-helix transcription factor and a direct target for signalling by the TGF-beta superfamily. XMAD2, a recently identified TGF-beta signal transducer, forms a complex with the transcription factor in an activin-dependent fashion to generate an activated ARE-binding complex. A model is proposed to explain how TGF-beta superfamily signals might regulate the expression of specific genes in the early embryo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Activins
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA / metabolism
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Inhibins / metabolism
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / metabolism*
  • Turner Syndrome
  • Xenopus
  • Xenopus Proteins*


  • Carrier Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • FOXH1 protein, Xenopus
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors
  • Transcription Factors
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Xenopus Proteins
  • Activins
  • Inhibins
  • DNA

Associated data

  • GENBANK/U70980