Cadherin juxtamembrane region derived peptides inhibit TGFβ1 induced gene expression
Bioactive peptides in the juxtamembrane regions of proteins are involved in many signaling events. The juxtamembrane regions of cadherins were examined for the identification of bioactive regions. Several peptides spanning the cytoplasmic juxtamembrane regions of E- and N-cadherin were synthesized and assessed for the ability to influence TGFβ responses in epithelial cells at the gene expression and protein levels. Peptides from regions closer to the membrane appeared more potent inhibitors of TGFβ signaling, blocking Smad3 phosphorylation. Thus inhibiting nuclear translocation of phosphorylated Smad complexes and subsequent transcriptional activation of TGFβ signal propagating genes. The peptides demonstrated a peptide-specific potential to inhibit other TGFβ superfamily members, such as BMP4.