Crystal structure of Smad3-MH1 bound to DNA at 2.4 A resolution
[SMAD3_HUMAN] Defects in SMAD3 may be a cause of colorectal cancer (CRC) [MIM:114500]. Defects in SMAD3 are the cause of Loeys-Dietz syndrome 3 (LDS3) [MIM:613795]. An aortic aneurysm syndrome with widespread systemic involvement. The disorder is characterized by the triad of arterial tortuosity and aneurysms, hypertelorism, and bifid uvula or cleft palate. Patients with LDS3 also manifest early-onset osteoarthritis. They lack craniosynostosis and mental retardation. Note=SMAD3 mutations have been reported to be also associated with thoracic aortic aneurysms and dissection (TAAD) (PubMed:21778426). This phenotype is distinguised from LDS3 by having aneurysms restricted to thoracic aorta. As individuals carrying these mutations also exhibit aneurysms of other arteries, including abdominal aorta, iliac, and/or intracranial arteries (PubMed:21778426), they have been classified as LDS3 by the OMIM resource. 
[SMAD3_HUMAN] Receptor-regulated SMAD (R-SMAD) that is an intracellular signal transducer and transcriptional modulator activated by TGF-beta (transforming growth factor) and activin type 1 receptor kinases. Binds the TRE element in the promoter region of many genes that are regulated by TGF-beta and, on formation of the SMAD3/SMAD4 complex, activates transcription. Also can form a SMAD3/SMAD4/JUN/FOS complex at the AP-1/SMAD site to regulate TGF-beta-mediated transcription. Has an inhibitory effect on wound healing probably by modulating both growth and migration of primary keratinocytes and by altering the TGF-mediated chemotaxis of monocytes. This effect on wound healing appears to be hormone-sensitive. Regulator of chondrogenesis and osteogenesis and inhibits early healing of bone fractures (By similarity). Positively regulates PDPK1 kinase activity by stimulating its dissociation from the 14-3-3 protein YWHAQ which acts as a negative regulator.          
Publication Abstract from PubMed
The Smad family of proteins mediates transforming growth factor-beta signaling from cell membrane to the nucleus. In the nucleus, Smads serve as transcription factors by directly binding to specific DNA sequences and regulating the expression of ligand-response genes. A previous structural analysis, at 2.8-A resolution, revealed a novel DNA-binding mode for the Smad MH1 domain but did not allow accurate assignment of the fines features of protein-DNA interactions. The crystal structure of a Smad3 MH1 domain bound to a palindromic DNA sequence, determined at 2.4-A resolution, reveals a surprisingly important role for water molecules. The asymmetric placement of the DNA-binding motif (a conserved 11-residue beta-hairpin) in the major groove of DNA is buttressed by seven well ordered water molecules. These water molecules make specific hydrogen bonds to the DNA bases, the DNA phosphate backbones, and several critical Smad3 residues. In addition, the MH1 domain is found to contain a bound zinc atom using four invariant residues among Smad proteins, three cysteines and one histidine. Removal of the zinc atom results in compromised DNA binding activity. These results define the Smad MH1 domain as a zinc-coordinating module that exhibits unique DNA binding properties.
Features of a Smad3 MH1-DNA complex. Roles of water and zinc in DNA binding.,Chai J, Wu JW, Yan N, Massague J, Pavletich NP, Shi Y J Biol Chem. 2003 May 30;278(22):20327-31. Epub 2003 Apr 9. PMID:12686552
From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.