Dr. Lee, Eminy H.Y. 李小媛 博士



Smad4 SUMOylation is essential for memory formation through upregulation of the skeletal myopathy gene TPM2

BMC Biology, Nov 28, 2017


Smad4 is a critical effector of TGF-β signaling that regulates a variety of cellular functions. However, its role in the brain has rarely been studied. Here, we examined the molecular mechanisms underlying the post-translational regulation of Smad4 function by SUMOylation, and its role in spatial memory formation.


In the hippocampus, Smad4 is SUMOylated by the E3 ligase PIAS1 at Lys-113 and Lys-159. Both spatial training and NMDA injection enhanced Smad4 SUMOylation. Inhibition of Smad4 SUMOylation impaired spatial learning and memory in rats by downregulating TPM2, a gene associated with skeletal myopathies. Similarly, knockdown of TPM2 expression impaired spatial learning and memory, while TPM2 mRNA and protein expression increased after spatial training. Among the TPM2 mutations associated with skeletal myopathies, the TPM2E122K mutation was found to reduce TPM2 expression and impair spatial learning and memory in rats.


We have identified a novel role of Smad4 SUMOylation and TPM2 in learning and memory formation. These results suggest that patients with skeletal myopathies who carry the TPM2E122K mutation may also have deficits in learning and memory functions.

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