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Antibody Duet Nucleoplasm

PhosphoPlus® Duets from Cell Signaling Technology (CST) provide a means to assess protein activation status. Each Duet contains an activation-state and total protein antibody to your target of interest. These antibodies have been selected from CST's product offering based upon superior performance in specified applications.

Background: AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is highly conserved from yeast to plants and animals and plays a key role in the regulation of energy homeostasis (1). AMPK is a heterotrimeric complex composed of a catalytic α subunit and regulatory β and γ subunits, each of which is encoded by two or three distinct genes (α1, 2; β1, 2; γ1, 2, 3) (2). The kinase is activated by an elevated AMP/ATP ratio due to cellular and environmental stress, such as heat shock, hypoxia, and ischemia (1). The tumor suppressor LKB1, in association with accessory proteins STRAD and MO25, phosphorylates AMPKα at Thr172 in the activation loop, and this phosphorylation is required for AMPK activation (3-5). AMPKα is also phosphorylated at Thr258 and Ser485 (for α1; Ser491 for α2). The upstream kinase and the biological significance of these phosphorylation events have yet to be elucidated (6). The β1 subunit is post-translationally modified by myristoylation and multi-site phosphorylation including Ser24/25, Ser96, Ser101, Ser108, and Ser182 (6,7). Phosphorylation at Ser108 of the β1 subunit seems to be required for the activation of AMPK enzyme, while phosphorylation at Ser24/25 and Ser182 affects AMPK localization (7). Several mutations in AMPKγ subunits have been identified, most of which are located in the putative AMP/ATP binding sites (CBS or Bateman domains). Mutations at these sites lead to reduction of AMPK activity and cause glycogen accumulation in heart or skeletal muscle (1,2). Accumulating evidence indicates that AMPK not only regulates the metabolism of fatty acids and glycogen, but also modulates protein synthesis and cell growth through EF2 and TSC2/mTOR pathways, as well as blood flow via eNOS/nNOS (1).

PhosphoPlus® Duets from Cell Signaling Technology (CST) provide a means to assess protein activation status. Each Duet contains an activation-state and total protein antibody to your target of interest. These antibodies have been selected from CST's product offering based upon superior performance in specified applications.

Background: Akt, also referred to as PKB or Rac, plays a critical role in controlling survival and apoptosis (1-3). This protein kinase is activated by insulin and various growth and survival factors to function in a wortmannin-sensitive pathway involving PI3 kinase (2,3). Akt is activated by phospholipid binding and activation loop phosphorylation at Thr308 by PDK1 (4) and by phosphorylation within the carboxy terminus at Ser473. The previously elusive PDK2 responsible for phosphorylation of Akt at Ser473 has been identified as mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) in a rapamycin-insensitive complex with rictor and Sin1 (5,6). Akt promotes cell survival by inhibiting apoptosis through phosphorylation and inactivation of several targets, including Bad (7), forkhead transcription factors (8), c-Raf (9), and caspase-9. PTEN phosphatase is a major negative regulator of the PI3 kinase/Akt signaling pathway (10). LY294002 is a specific PI3 kinase inhibitor (11). Another essential Akt function is the regulation of glycogen synthesis through phosphorylation and inactivation of GSK-3α and β (12,13). Akt may also play a role in insulin stimulation of glucose transport (12). In addition to its role in survival and glycogen synthesis, Akt is involved in cell cycle regulation by preventing GSK-3β-mediated phosphorylation and degradation of cyclin D1 (14) and by negatively regulating the cyclin dependent kinase inhibitors p27 Kip1 (15) and p21 Waf1/Cip1 (16). Akt also plays a critical role in cell growth by directly phosphorylating mTOR in a rapamycin-sensitive complex containing raptor (17). More importantly, Akt phosphorylates and inactivates tuberin (TSC2), an inhibitor of mTOR within the mTOR-raptor complex (18,19).

PhosphoPlus® Duets from Cell Signaling Technology (CST) provide a means to assess protein activation status. Each Duet contains an activation-state and total protein antibody to your target of interest. These antibodies have been selected from CST's product offering based upon superior performance in specified applications.

Background: Caspase-3 (CPP-32, Apoptain, Yama, SCA-1) is a critical executioner of apoptosis, as it is either partially or totally responsible for the proteolytic cleavage of many key proteins, such as the nuclear enzyme poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) (1). Activation of caspase-3 requires proteolytic processing of its inactive zymogen into activated p17 and p12 fragments. Cleavage of caspase-3 requires the aspartic acid residue at the P1 position (2).

PhosphoPlus® Duets from Cell Signaling Technology (CST) provide a means to assess protein activation status. Each Duet contains an activation-state and total protein antibody to your target of interest. These antibodies have been selected from CST's product offering based upon superior performance in specified applications.

Background: p38 MAP kinase (MAPK), also called RK (1) or CSBP (2), is the mammalian orthologue of the yeast HOG kinase that participates in a signaling cascade controlling cellular responses to cytokines and stress (1-4). Four isoforms of p38 MAPK, p38α, β, γ (also known as Erk6 or SAPK3), and δ (also known as SAPK4) have been identified. Similar to the SAPK/JNK pathway, p38 MAPK is activated by a variety of cellular stresses including osmotic shock, inflammatory cytokines, lipopolysaccharide (LPS), UV light, and growth factors (1-5). MKK3, MKK6, and SEK activate p38 MAPK by phosphorylation at Thr180 and Tyr182. Activated p38 MAPK has been shown to phosphorylate and activate MAPKAP kinase 2 (3) and to phosphorylate the transcription factors ATF-2 (5), Max (6), and MEF2 (5-8). SB203580 (4-(4-fluorophenyl)-2-(4-methylsulfinylphenyl)-5-(4-pyridyl)-imidazole) is a selective inhibitor of p38 MAPK. This compound inhibits the activation of MAPKAPK-2 by p38 MAPK and subsequent phosphorylation of HSP27 (9). SB203580 inhibits p38 MAPK catalytic activity by binding to the ATP-binding pocket, but does not inhibit phosphorylation of p38 MAPK by upstream kinases (10).

PhosphoPlus® Duets from Cell Signaling Technology (CST) provide a means to assess protein activation status. Each Duet contains an activation-state and total protein antibody to your target of interest. These antibodies have been selected from CST's product offering based upon superior performance in specified applications.

Background: The Stat3 transcription factor is an important signaling molecule for many cytokines and growth factor receptors (1) and is required for murine fetal development (2). Research studies have shown that Stat3 is constitutively activated in a number of human tumors (3,4) and possesses oncogenic potential (5) and anti-apoptotic activities (3). Stat3 is activated by phosphorylation at Tyr705, which induces dimerization, nuclear translocation, and DNA binding (6,7). Transcriptional activation seems to be regulated by phosphorylation at Ser727 through the MAPK or mTOR pathways (8,9). Stat3 isoform expression appears to reflect biological function as the relative expression levels of Stat3α (86 kDa) and Stat3β (79 kDa) depend on cell type, ligand exposure, or cell maturation stage (10). It is notable that Stat3β lacks the serine phosphorylation site within the carboxy-terminal transcriptional activation domain (8).

PhosphoPlus® Duets from Cell Signaling Technology (CST) provide a means to assess protein activation status. Each Duet contains an activation-state and total protein antibody to your target of interest. These antibodies have been selected from CST's product offering based upon superior performance in specified applications.

Background: The stress-activated protein kinase/Jun-amino-terminal kinase SAPK/JNK is potently and preferentially activated by a variety of environmental stresses including UV and gamma radiation, ceramides, inflammatory cytokines, and in some instances, growth factors and GPCR agonists (1-6). As with the other MAPKs, the core signaling unit is composed of a MAPKKK, typically MEKK1-MEKK4, or by one of the mixed lineage kinases (MLKs), which phosphorylate and activate MKK4/7. Upon activation, MKKs phosphorylate and activate the SAPK/JNK kinase (2). Stress signals are delivered to this cascade by small GTPases of the Rho family (Rac, Rho, cdc42) (3). Both Rac1 and cdc42 mediate the stimulation of MEKKs and MLKs (3). Alternatively, MKK4/7 can be activated in a GTPase-independent mechanism via stimulation of a germinal center kinase (GCK) family member (4). There are three SAPK/JNK genes each of which undergoes alternative splicing, resulting in numerous isoforms (3). SAPK/JNK, when active as a dimer, can translocate to the nucleus and regulate transcription through its effects on c-Jun, ATF-2, and other transcription factors (3,5).

PhosphoPlus® Duets from Cell Signaling Technology (CST) provide a means to assess protein activation status. Each Duet contains an activation-state and total protein antibody to your target of interest. These antibodies have been selected from CST's product offering based upon superior performance in specified applications.

Background: Glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3) was initially identified as an enzyme that regulates glycogen synthesis in response to insulin (1). GSK-3 is a ubiquitously expressed serine/threonine protein kinase that phosphorylates and inactivates glycogen synthase. GSK-3 is a critical downstream element of the PI3K/Akt cell survival pathway whose activity can be inhibited by Akt-mediated phosphorylation at Ser21 of GSK-3α and Ser9 of GSK-3β (2,3). GSK-3 has been implicated in the regulation of cell fate in Dictyostelium and is a component of the Wnt signaling pathway required for Drosophila, Xenopus, and mammalian development (4). GSK-3 has been shown to regulate cyclin D1 proteolysis and subcellular localization (5).

PhosphoPlus® Duets from Cell Signaling Technology (CST) provide a means to assess protein activation status. Each Duet contains an activation-state and total protein antibody to your target of interest. These antibodies have been selected from CST's product offering based upon superior performance in specified applications.

Background: The Stat1 transcription factor is activated in response to a large number of ligands (1) and is essential for responsiveness to IFN-α and IFN-γ (2,3). Phosphorylation of Stat1 at Tyr701 induces Stat1 dimerization, nuclear translocation, and DNA binding (4). Stat1 protein exists as a pair of isoforms, Stat1α (91 kDa) and the splice variant Stat1β (84 kDa). In most cells, both isoforms are activated by IFN-α, but only Stat1α is activated by IFN-γ. The inappropriate activation of Stat1 occurs in many tumors (5). In addition to tyrosine phosphorylation, Stat1 is also phosphorylated at Ser727 through a p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)-dependent pathway in response to IFN-α and other cellular stresses (6). Serine phosphorylation may be required for the maximal induction of Stat1-mediated gene activation.

PhosphoPlus® Duets from Cell Signaling Technology (CST) provide a means to assess protein activation status. Each Duet contains an activation-state and total protein antibody to your target of interest. These antibodies have been selected from CST's product offering based upon superior performance in specified applications.

Background: c-Jun is a member of the Jun family containing c-Jun, JunB, and JunD, and is a component of the transcription factor activator protein-1 (AP-1). AP-1 is composed of dimers of Fos, Jun, and ATF family members and binds to and activates transcription at TRE/AP-1 elements (reviewed in 1). Extracellular signals including growth factors, chemokines, and stress activate AP-1-dependent transcription. The transcriptional activity of c-Jun is regulated by phosphorylation at Ser63 and Ser73 through SAPK/JNK (reviewed in 2). Knock-out studies in mice have shown that c-Jun is essential for embryogenesis (3), and subsequent studies have demonstrated roles for c-Jun in various tissues and developmental processes including axon regeneration (4), liver regeneration (5), and T cell development (6). AP-1 regulated genes exert diverse biological functions including cell proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis, as well as transformation, invasion and metastasis, depending on cell type and context (7-9). Other target genes regulate survival, as well as hypoxia and angiogenesis (8,10). Research studies have implicated c-Jun as a promising therapeutic target for cancer, vascular remodeling, acute inflammation, and rheumatoid arthritis (11,12).

PhosphoPlus® Duets from Cell Signaling Technology (CST) provide a means to assess protein activation status. Each Duet contains an activation-state and total protein antibody to your target of interest. These antibodies have been selected from CST's product offering based upon superior performance in specified applications.

Background: β-Catenin is a key downstream effector in the Wnt signaling pathway (1). It is implicated in two major biological processes in vertebrates: early embryonic development (2) and tumorigenesis (3). CK1 phosphorylates β-catenin at Ser45. This phosphorylation event primes β-catenin for subsequent phosphorylation by GSK-3β (4-6). GSK-3β destabilizes β-catenin by phosphorylating it at Ser33, Ser37, and Thr41 (7). Mutations at these sites result in the stabilization of β-catenin protein levels and have been found in many tumor cell lines (8).

PhosphoPlus® Duets from Cell Signaling Technology (CST) provide a means to assess protein activation status. Each Duet contains an activation-state and total protein antibody to your target of interest. These antibodies have been selected from CST's product offering based upon superior performance in specified applications.

Background: PARP, a 116 kDa nuclear poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase, appears to be involved in DNA repair in response to environmental stress (1). This protein can be cleaved by many ICE-like caspases in vitro (2,3) and is one of the main cleavage targets of caspase-3 in vivo (4,5). In human PARP, the cleavage occurs between Asp214 and Gly215, which separates the PARP amino-terminal DNA binding domain (24 kDa) from the carboxy-terminal catalytic domain (89 kDa) (2,4). PARP helps cells to maintain their viability; cleavage of PARP facilitates cellular disassembly and serves as a marker of cells undergoing apoptosis (6).

Each Duet contains an activation-state and total protein antibody to your target of interest. These antibodies have been selected from CST's product offering based upon superior performance in specified applications.

Background: Embryonic stem cells (ESC) derived from the inner cell mass of the blastocyst are unique in their pluripotent capacity and potential for self-renewal (1). Research studies demonstrate that a set of transcription factors that includes Oct-4, Sox2, and Nanog forms a transcriptional network that maintains cells in a pluripotent state (2,3). Chromatin immunoprecipitation experiments show that Sox2 and Oct-4 bind to thousands of gene regulatory sites, many of which regulate cell pluripotency and early embryonic development (4,5). siRNA knockdown of either Sox2 or Oct-4 results in loss of pluripotency (6). Induced overexpression of Oct-4 and Sox2, along with additional transcription factors Klf4 and c-Myc, can reprogram both mouse and human somatic cells to a pluripotent state (7,8). Additional evidence demonstrates that Sox2 is also present in adult multipotent progenitors that give rise to some adult epithelial tissues, including several glands, the glandular stomach, testes, and cervix. Sox2 is thought to regulate target gene expression important for survival and regeneration of these tissues (9).

PhosphoPlus® Duets from Cell Signaling Technology (CST) provide a means to assess protein activation status. Each Duet contains an activation-state and total protein antibody to your target of interest. These antibodies have been selected from CST's product offering based upon superior performance in specified applications.

Background: Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) are a widely conserved family of serine/threonine protein kinases involved in many cellular programs, such as cell proliferation, differentiation, motility, and death. The p44/42 MAPK (Erk1/2) signaling pathway can be activated in response to a diverse range of extracellular stimuli including mitogens, growth factors, and cytokines (1-3), and research investigators consider it an important target in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer (4). Upon stimulation, a sequential three-part protein kinase cascade is initiated, consisting of a MAP kinase kinase kinase (MAPKKK or MAP3K), a MAP kinase kinase (MAPKK or MAP2K), and a MAP kinase (MAPK). Multiple p44/42 MAP3Ks have been identified, including members of the Raf family, as well as Mos and Tpl2/COT. MEK1 and MEK2 are the primary MAPKKs in this pathway (5,6). MEK1 and MEK2 activate p44 and p42 through phosphorylation of activation loop residues Thr202/Tyr204 and Thr185/Tyr187, respectively. Several downstream targets of p44/42 have been identified, including p90RSK (7) and the transcription factor Elk-1 (8,9). p44/42 are negatively regulated by a family of dual-specificity (Thr/Tyr) MAPK phosphatases, known as DUSPs or MKPs (10), along with MEK inhibitors, such as U0126 and PD98059.

PhosphoPlus® Duets from Cell Signaling Technology (CST) provide a means to assess protein activation status. Each Duet contains an activation-state and total protein antibody to your target of interest. These antibodies have been selected from CST's product offering based upon superior performance in specified applications.

Background: Akt, also referred to as PKB or Rac, plays a critical role in controlling survival and apoptosis (1-3). This protein kinase is activated by insulin and various growth and survival factors to function in a wortmannin-sensitive pathway involving PI3 kinase (2,3). Akt is activated by phospholipid binding and activation loop phosphorylation at Thr308 by PDK1 (4) and by phosphorylation within the carboxy terminus at Ser473. The previously elusive PDK2 responsible for phosphorylation of Akt at Ser473 has been identified as mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) in a rapamycin-insensitive complex with rictor and Sin1 (5,6). Akt promotes cell survival by inhibiting apoptosis through phosphorylation and inactivation of several targets, including Bad (7), forkhead transcription factors (8), c-Raf (9), and caspase-9. PTEN phosphatase is a major negative regulator of the PI3 kinase/Akt signaling pathway (10). LY294002 is a specific PI3 kinase inhibitor (11). Another essential Akt function is the regulation of glycogen synthesis through phosphorylation and inactivation of GSK-3α and β (12,13). Akt may also play a role in insulin stimulation of glucose transport (12). In addition to its role in survival and glycogen synthesis, Akt is involved in cell cycle regulation by preventing GSK-3β-mediated phosphorylation and degradation of cyclin D1 (14) and by negatively regulating the cyclin dependent kinase inhibitors p27 Kip1 (15) and p21 Waf1/Cip1 (16). Akt also plays a critical role in cell growth by directly phosphorylating mTOR in a rapamycin-sensitive complex containing raptor (17). More importantly, Akt phosphorylates and inactivates tuberin (TSC2), an inhibitor of mTOR within the mTOR-raptor complex (18,19).

PhosphoPlus® Duets from Cell Signaling Technology (CST) provide a means to assess protein activation status. Each Duet contains an activation-state and total protein antibody to your target of interest. These antibodies have been selected from CST's product offering based upon superior performance in specified applications.

Background: p70 S6 kinase is a mitogen activated Ser/Thr protein kinase that is required for cell growth and G1 cell cycle progression (1,2). p70 S6 kinase phosphorylates the S6 protein of the 40S ribosomal subunit and is involved in translational control of 5' oligopyrimidine tract mRNAs (1). A second isoform, p85 S6 kinase, is derived from the same gene and is identical to p70 S6 kinase except for 23 extra residues at the amino terminus, which encode a nuclear localizing signal (1). Both isoforms lie on a mitogen activated signaling pathway downstream of phosphoinositide-3 kinase (PI-3K) and the target of rapamycin, FRAP/mTOR, a pathway distinct from the Ras/MAP kinase cascade (1). The activity of p70 S6 kinase is controlled by multiple phosphorylation events located within the catalytic, linker and pseudosubstrate domains (1). Phosphorylation of Thr229 in the catalytic domain and Thr389 in the linker domain are most critical for kinase function (1). Phosphorylation of Thr389, however, most closely correlates with p70 kinase activity in vivo (3). Prior phosphorylation of Thr389 is required for the action of phosphoinositide 3-dependent protein kinase 1 (PDK1) on Thr229 (4,5). Phosphorylation of this site is stimulated by growth factors such as insulin, EGF and FGF, as well as by serum and some G-protein-coupled receptor ligands, and is blocked by wortmannin, LY294002 (PI-3K inhibitor) and rapamycin (FRAP/mTOR inhibitor) (1,6,7). Ser411, Thr421 and Ser424 lie within a Ser-Pro-rich region located in the pseudosubstrate region (1). Phosphorylation at these sites is thought to activate p70 S6 kinase via relief of pseudosubstrate suppression (1,2). Another LY294002 and rapamycin sensitive phosphorylation site, Ser371, is an in vitro substrate for mTOR and correlates well with the activity of a partially rapamycin resistant mutant p70 S6 kinase (8).

PhosphoPlus® Duets from Cell Signaling Technology (CST) provide a means to assess protein activation status. Each Duet contains an activation-state and total protein antibody to your target of interest. These antibodies have been selected from CST's product offering based upon superior performance in specified applications.

Background: CREB is a bZIP transcription factor that activates target genes through cAMP response elements. CREB is able to mediate signals from numerous physiological stimuli, resulting in regulation of a broad array of cellular responses. While CREB is expressed in numerous tissues, it plays a large regulatory role in the nervous system. CREB is believed to play a key role in promoting neuronal survival, precursor proliferation, neurite outgrowth, and neuronal differentiation in certain neuronal populations (1-3). Additionally, CREB signaling is involved in learning and memory in several organisms (4-6). CREB is able to selectively activate numerous downstream genes through interactions with different dimerization partners. CREB is activated by phosphorylation at Ser133 by various signaling pathways including Erk, Ca2+, and stress signaling. Some of the kinases involved in phosphorylating CREB at Ser133 are p90RSK, MSK, CaMKIV, and MAPKAPK-2 (7-9).

PhosphoPlus® Duets from Cell Signaling Technology (CST) provide a means to assess protein activation status. Each Duet contains an activation-state and total protein antibody to your target of interest. These antibodies have been selected from CST's product offering based upon superior performance in specified applications.

Background: Transcription factors of the nuclear factor κB (NF-κB)/Rel family play a pivotal role in inflammatory and immune responses (1,2). There are five family members in mammals: RelA, c-Rel, RelB, NF-κB1 (p105/p50), and NF-κB2 (p100/p52). Both p105 and p100 are proteolytically processed by the proteasome to produce p50 and p52, respectively. Rel proteins bind p50 and p52 to form dimeric complexes that bind DNA and regulate transcription. In unstimulated cells, NF-κB is sequestered in the cytoplasm by IκB inhibitory proteins (3-5). NF-κB-activating agents can induce the phosphorylation of IκB proteins, targeting them for rapid degradation through the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway and releasing NF-κB to enter the nucleus where it regulates gene expression (6-8). NIK and IKKα (IKK1) regulate the phosphorylation and processing of NF-κB2 (p100) to produce p52, which translocates to the nucleus (9-11).

PhosphoPlus® Duets from Cell Signaling Technology (CST) provide a means to assess protein activation status. Each Duet contains an activation-state and total protein antibody to your target of interest. These antibodies have been selected from CST's product offering based upon superior performance in specified applications.

Background: c-Jun is a member of the Jun family containing c-Jun, JunB, and JunD, and is a component of the transcription factor activator protein-1 (AP-1). AP-1 is composed of dimers of Fos, Jun, and ATF family members and binds to and activates transcription at TRE/AP-1 elements (reviewed in 1). Extracellular signals including growth factors, chemokines, and stress activate AP-1-dependent transcription. The transcriptional activity of c-Jun is regulated by phosphorylation at Ser63 and Ser73 through SAPK/JNK (reviewed in 2). Knock-out studies in mice have shown that c-Jun is essential for embryogenesis (3), and subsequent studies have demonstrated roles for c-Jun in various tissues and developmental processes including axon regeneration (4), liver regeneration (5), and T cell development (6). AP-1 regulated genes exert diverse biological functions including cell proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis, as well as transformation, invasion and metastasis, depending on cell type and context (7-9). Other target genes regulate survival, as well as hypoxia and angiogenesis (8,10). Research studies have implicated c-Jun as a promising therapeutic target for cancer, vascular remodeling, acute inflammation, and rheumatoid arthritis (11,12).

PhosphoPlus® Duets from Cell Signaling Technology (CST) provide a means to assess protein activation status. Each Duet contains an activation-state and total protein antibody to your target of interest. These antibodies have been selected from CST's product offering based upon superior performance in specified applications.

Background: Members of the Janus family of tyrosine kinases (Jak1, Jak2, Jak3, and Tyk2) are activated by ligands binding to a number of associated cytokine receptors (1). Upon cytokine receptor activation, Jak proteins become autophosphorylated and phosphorylate their associated receptors to provide multiple binding sites for signaling proteins. These associated signaling proteins, such as Stats (2), Shc (3), insulin receptor substrates (4), and focal adhesion kinase (FAK) (5), typically contain SH2 or other phospho-tyrosine-binding domains.

PhosphoPlus® Duets from Cell Signaling Technology (CST) provide a means to assess protein activation status. Each Duet contains an activation-state and total protein antibody to your target of interest. These antibodies have been selected from CST's product offering based upon superior performance in specified applications.

Background: Members of the Smad family of signal transduction molecules are components of a critical intracellular pathway that transmit TGF-β signals from the cell surface into the nucleus. Three distinct classes of Smads have been defined: the receptor-regulated Smads (R-Smads), which include Smad1, 2, 3, 5, and 8; the common-mediator Smad (co-Smad), Smad4; and the antagonistic or inhibitory Smads (I-Smads), Smad6 and 7 (1-5). Activated type I receptors associate with specific R-Smads and phosphorylate them on a conserved carboxy terminal SSXS motif. The phosphorylated R-Smad dissociates from the receptor and forms a heteromeric complex with the co-Smad (Smad4), allowing translocation of the complex to the nucleus. Once in the nucleus, Smads can target a variety of DNA binding proteins to regulate transcriptional responses (6-8).