Smad1 and its target gene Wif1 coordinate BMP and Wnt signaling activities to regulate fetal lung development

Bing Xu, Cheng Chen, Hui Chen, Song Guo Zheng, Pablo Bringas, Min Xu, Xianghong Zhou, Di Chen, Lieve Umans, An Zwijsen, Wei Shi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Bone morphogenetic protein 4 (Bmp4) is essential for lung development. To define the intracellular signaling mechanisms by which Bmp4 regulates lung development, BMP-specific Smad1 or Smad5 was selectively knocked out in fetal mouse lung epithelial cells. Abrogation of lung epithelial-specific Smad1, but not Smad5, resulted in retardation of lung branching morphogenesis and reduced sacculation, accompanied by altered distal lung epithelial cell proliferation and differentiation and, consequently, severe neonatal respiratory failure. By combining cDNA microarray with ChIP-chip analyses, Wnt inhibitory factor 1 (Wif1) was identified as a novel target gene of Smad1 in the developing mouse lung epithelial cells. Loss of Smad1 transcriptional activation of Wif1 was associated with reduced Wif1 expression and increased Wnt/β-catenin signaling activity in lung epithelia, resulting in specific fetal lung abnormalities. This suggests a novel regulatory loop of Bmp4-Smad1-Wif1-Wnt/ β-catenin in coordinating BMP and Wnt pathways to control fetal lung development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)925-935
Number of pages11
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology


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