Smad3 (also known as Mothers against decapentaplegic homolog 3 Mothers against DPP homolog 3, Mad3, hMAD-3, JV15-2 or hSMAD3) is a 50 kDa member of a family of proteins that act as key mediators of TGF beta superfamily signaling in cell proliferation, differentiation and development. The Smad family is divided into three subclasses: receptor regulated Smads, activin/TGF beta receptor regulated (Smad2 and 3) or BMP receptor regulated (Smad 1, 5, and 8); the common partner, (Smad4) that functions via its interaction to the various Smads; and the inhibitory Smads, (Smad6 and 7). Activated Smad3 oligomerizes with Smad4 upon TGF beta stimulation and translocates as a complex into the nucleus, allowing its binding to DNA and transcription factors. Phosphorylation of the two TGF beta dependent serines 423 and 425 in the C terminus of Smad3 is critical for Smad3 transcriptional activity and TGF beta signaling.
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