The SMAD's form complexes, often with other SMAD's, enter the nucleus and serve as transcription factors.
There are three classes of SMAD:
- 1)The receptor-regulated Smads(R-SMAD) which include SMAD1, SMAD2, SMAD3, SMAD5 and SMAD9
- 2) The common-mediator Smad(co-SMAD) which include only SMAD4,
- 3) The antagonistic or inhibitory Smads(I-SMAD) which include SMAD6 and SMAD7.
During Drosophila research, it was found that a mutation in the gene, MAD, in the mother, repressed the gene, decapentaplegic, in the embryo. The phrase "Mothers against" was added since mothers often form organizations opposing various issues eg. Mothers Against Drunk Driving or (MADD).
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