2006 Recipient

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Winners of the 2006 Michael E. DeBakey, M.D., Excellence in Research Awards. From left: Rongfu Wang, Ph.D., Francesco J. DeMayo, Ph.D., Michael E. DeBakey, M.D., Xin-Hua Feng, Ph.D., Daniel Medina, Ph.D.

Yin and Yang of TGFb/SMAD signaling

Xin-Hua Feng, Ph.D., received the award for his seminal contributions to the advancements in elucidating fundamental mechanisms of cell signaling.  Dr. Feng’s studies have demonstrated a complex regulation of TGFb/SMAD signaling through phosphorylation, ubiquitination and sumoylation. Dr. Feng’s recent work on human protein phosphatome answers a long-standing question regarding how TGFb tumor-suppressing signaling is terminated through SMAD dephosphorylation and represents a major milestone in TGFb biology. Mutations or dysregulation of TGFb signaling pathways have been implicated in human diseases such as cancer, autoimmune diseases and cardiovascular diseases.

Dr. Feng’s nomination was based on the following publications:

Liang M, Liang YY, Wrighton K, Ungermannova D, Wang XP, Brunicardi FC, Liu X, Feng XH, Lin X. Ubiquitination and proteolysis of cancer-derived Smad4 mutants by SCFSkp2. Mol Cell Biol. 2004 Sep;24(17):7524-37.

Lin X, Duan X, Liang YY, Su Y, Wrighton KH, Long J, Hu M, Davis CM, Wang J, Brunicardi FC, Shi Y, Chen YG, Meng A, Feng XH. PPM1A functions as a Smad phosphatase to terminate TGFbeta signaling. Cell. 2006 Jun 2;125(5):915-28.

Lin X, Sun B, Liang M, Liang YY, Gast A, Hildebrand J, Brunicardi FC, Melchior F, Feng XH.Opposed regulation of corepressor CtBP by SUMOylation and PDZ binding. Mol Cell. 2003 May;11(5):1389-96.