Gene Summary

Gene:BMP6; bone morphogenetic protein 6
Aliases: VGR, VGR1
Summary:This gene encodes a secreted ligand of the TGF-beta (transforming growth factor-beta) superfamily of proteins. Ligands of this family bind various TGF-beta receptors leading to recruitment and activation of SMAD family transcription factors that regulate gene expression. The encoded preproprotein is proteolytically processed to generate each subunit of the disulfide-linked homodimer. This protein regulates a wide range of biological processes including iron homeostasis, fat and bone development, and ovulation. Differential expression of this gene may be associated with progression of breast and prostate cancer. Mutations in this gene may be associated with iron overload in human patients. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2016]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:bone morphogenetic protein 6
Source:NCBIAccessed: 16 March, 2017


What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 16 March 2017 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

  • Disease Progression
  • Estrogen Receptors
  • Promoter Regions
  • Down-Regulation
  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein 2
  • Cell Proliferation
  • DNA Methylation
  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein 4
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Chromosome 6
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Breast Cancer
  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • CpG Islands
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Software
  • Gene Silencing
  • Young Adult
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein 6
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Signal Transduction
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Phenotype
  • Lung Cancer
  • DNA Sequence Analysis
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Epigenetics
  • ras Proteins
  • MicroRNAs
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Tumor Microenvironment
  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein Receptors
  • Risk Factors
Tag cloud generated 16 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (3)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: BMP6 (cancer-related)

Hu F, Zhang Y, Li M, et al.
BMP-6 inhibits the metastasis of MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells by regulating MMP-1 expression.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 35(3):1823-30 [PubMed] Related Publications
Bone morphogenetic protein-6 (BMP-6) is a multifunctional molecule with distinct abilities in embryogenesis and organogenesis. In the present study, our results showed that the rate of BMP-6-negative expression was 30.56% in breast cancer tissues, but was 9.58% in normal tissues by immunohistochemical staining. This implied that BMP-6 expression is absent in breast cancer tissues and may suppress breast cancer metastasis. In addition, stable overexpression of BMP-6 in MDA-MB‑231 cells was established to analyze the metastatic ability. The Boyden chamber assay showed that BMP-6 inhibited the migration and invasion of MDA-MB-231 cells. Moreover, real-time PCR analysis showed that BMP-6 markedly downregulated matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1) expression at both the mRNA and protein levels in the MDA-MB‑231 cells. Importantly, the results of luciferase and CHIP assays revealed that BMP-6 inhibited MMP-1 promoter activity through the AP-1 response element. In MDA-MB-231 cells treated with BMP-6, a significant decrease in the recruitment of AP-1 components, c-Jun/c-Fos, to the endogenous MMP-1 promoter was noted. We also demonstrated that BMP-6 inhibited the invasion of MDA-MB-231 cells, and this effect was significantly attenuated by overexpression of MMP-1. In contrast, MMP-1 knockdown by RNA interference or MMP-1 inhibitor exhibited an opposite effect. These observations suggest a novel role of BMP-6 in the inhibition of breast cancer metastasis by regulating secretion of MMPs in the tumor microenvironment.

Cuttano R, Rudini N, Bravi L, et al.
KLF4 is a key determinant in the development and progression of cerebral cavernous malformations.
EMBO Mol Med. 2016; 8(1):6-24 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Cerebral cavernous malformations (CCMs) are vascular malformations located within the central nervous system often resulting in cerebral hemorrhage. Pharmacological treatment is needed, since current therapy is limited to neurosurgery. Familial CCM is caused by loss-of-function mutations in any of Ccm1, Ccm2, and Ccm3 genes. CCM cavernomas are lined by endothelial cells (ECs) undergoing endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EndMT). This switch in phenotype is due to the activation of the transforming growth factor beta/bone morphogenetic protein (TGFβ/BMP) signaling. However, the mechanism linking Ccm gene inactivation and TGFβ/BMP-dependent EndMT remains undefined. Here, we report that Ccm1 ablation leads to the activation of a MEKK3-MEK5-ERK5-MEF2 signaling axis that induces a strong increase in Kruppel-like factor 4 (KLF4) in ECs in vivo. KLF4 transcriptional activity is responsible for the EndMT occurring in CCM1-null ECs. KLF4 promotes TGFβ/BMP signaling through the production of BMP6. Importantly, in endothelial-specific Ccm1 and Klf4 double knockout mice, we observe a strong reduction in the development of CCM and mouse mortality. Our data unveil KLF4 as a therapeutic target for CCM.

Yang F, Chen Y, Shen T, et al.
Stromal TGF-β signaling induces AR activation in prostate cancer.
Oncotarget. 2014; 5(21):10854-69 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
AR signaling is essential for the growth and survival of prostate cancer (PCa), including most of the lethal castration-resistant PCa (CRPC). We previously reported that TGF-β signaling in prostate stroma promotes prostate tumor angiogenesis and growth. By using a PCa/stroma co-culture model, here we show that stromal TGF-β signaling induces comprehensive morphology changes of PCa LNCaP cells. Furthermore, it induces AR activation in LNCaP cells in the absence of significant levels of androgen, as evidenced by induction of several AR target genes including PSA, TMPRSS2, and KLK4. SD-208, a TGF-β receptor 1 specific inhibitor, blocks this TGF-β induced biology. Importantly, stromal TGF-β signaling together with DHT induce robust activation of AR. MDV3100 effectively blocks DHT-induced, but not stromal TGF-β signaling induced AR activation in LNCaP cells, indicating that stromal TGF-β signaling induces both ligand-dependent and ligand-independent AR activation in PCa. TGF-β induces the expression of several growth factors and cytokines in prostate stromal cells, including IL-6, and BMP-6. Interestingly, BMP-6 and IL-6 together induces robust AR activation in these co-cultures, and neutralizing antibodies against BMP-6 and IL-6 attenuate this action. Altogether, our study strongly suggests tumor stromal microenvironment induced AR activation as a direct mechanism of CRPC.

Sangplod P, Kanngurn S, Boonpipattanapong T, et al.
Expression of BMP6 is associated with its methylation status in colorectal cancer tissue but lacks prognostic significance.
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2014; 15(17):7091-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The study aimed to evaluate the incidence of CpG island promoter methylation of BMP6, a member of the transforming growth factor beta family, in tissue samples from colorectal cancers (CRC) and look for its association with BMP6 expression and clinicopathological correlation.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Methylation specific PCR for the BMP6 promoter region was performed with 85 frozen tissue samples of CRC and 45 of normal colon. Methylation status of MLH1 was also determined by the same method. Expression of BMP6 was evaluated by immunohistochemistry (IHC), using Allred's scoring system. The methylation status was analyzed against clinical and pathological parameters in CRC.
RESULTS: The study revealed BMP6 hypermethylation in 34 of 85 tumor specimens (40%), and 15 out of 45 normal tissue samples from CRC (33%). The incidence of hypermethylation was inversely correlated with IHC score. Allred's scores of 7 or more were correlated with lower frequency of BMP6 hypermethylation (29% compared to 50% in the remaining, p-value 0.049). However, there was no association between hypermethylation status and any clinicopathological parameters. The methylation status of BMP6 was not correlated with that of MLH1, a key methylation determinant in CRC. On survival analysis, there was no significant difference in progress-free survival (PFS) between the cases with and without hypermethylation (2-year PFS 74% and 76%, respectively).
CONCLUSIONS: CpG island methylation of BMP6 is found in high frequency in CRC and this epigenetic event is associated with suppressed protein expression in the tumor tissue. However, the marker is not associated with tumor progression of the disease.

Zhang S, Chen Y, Guo W, et al.
Disordered hepcidin-ferroportin signaling promotes breast cancer growth.
Cell Signal. 2014; 26(11):2539-50 [PubMed] Related Publications
Iron homeostasis is strictly governed in mammals; however, disordered iron metabolism (such as excess iron burden) is recognized as a risk factor for various types of diseases including cancers. Burgeoning evidence indicates that the central signaling of iron homeostasis, the hepcidin-ferroportin axis, is misregulated in cancers. Nonetheless, the mechanisms of misregulated expression of iron-related genes along this signaling in cancers remain largely unknown. In the current study, we found increased levels of serum hepcidin in breast cancer patients. Reduction of hepatic hepcidin through administration of heparin restrained tumorigenic properties of breast tumor cells. Mechanistic investigation revealed that increased iron, bone morphogenetic protein-6 (BMP6) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) jointly promoted the synthesis of hepatic hepcidin. Tumor hepcidin expression was marginally increased in breast tumors relative to adjacent tissues. In contrast, tumor ferroportin concentration was greatly reduced in breast tumors, especially in malignant tumors, compared to adjacent tissues. Elevation of ferroportin concentration inhibited cell proliferation in vitro and in vivo by knocking down tumor hepcidin expression. Additionally, increased IL-6 was demonstrated to jointly enhance the tumorigenic effects of iron through enforcing cell growth. Our combined data overall deciphered the machinery that altered the hepcidin-ferroportin signaling in breast cancers. Thus, targeting the hepcidin-ferroportin signaling would represent a promising therapeutics to restrain breast cancer growth.

Liu G, Liu YJ, Lian WJ, et al.
Reduced BMP6 expression by DNA methylation contributes to EMT and drug resistance in breast cancer cells.
Oncol Rep. 2014; 32(2):581-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Bone morphogenetic protein 6 (BMP6) is an important regulator of cell growth, differentiation and apoptosis in various types of tumor. In breast cancer, it was considered as a tumor suppressor. Our previous study also confirmed that BMP6 was a critical regulator of breast cancer drug resistance. However, little is known about how its expression is regulated and its mechanisms in breast cancer drug resistance. In the present study, we assessed the DNA methylation regulation of BMP6 based on the presence of a large CpG island in the BMP6 gene promoter. Quantitative DNA methylation analyses showed a significantly increased DNA methylation level in the drug-resistant cell line MCF-7/ADR compared to their parental cells MCF-7. Moreover, the drug-resistant cell line MCF-7/ADR showed an EMT phenotype confirmed by morphology and the expression of EMT marker gene. MCF-7 cells transfected with BMP6-specific shRNA vector also showed an EMT phenotype. The MCF-7/ADR cells treated with the recombinant BMP6 proteins reversed their EMT phenotype. These data indicated that hypermethylation modifications contributed to the regulation of BMP6 and induced an EMT phenotype of breast cancer during the acquisition of drug resistance.

Pei N, Jie F, Luo J, et al.
Gene expression profiling associated with angiotensin II type 2 receptor-induced apoptosis in human prostate cancer cells.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(3):e92253 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Increased expression of angiotensin II type 2 receptor (AT2R) induces apoptosis in numerous tumor cell lines, with either Angiotensin II-dependent or Angiotensin II-independent regulation, but its molecular mechanism remains poorly understood. Here, we used PCR Array analysis to determine the gene and microRNA expression profiles in human prostate cancer cell lines transduced with AT2R recombinant adenovirus. Our results demonstrated that AT2R over expression leads to up-regulation of 6 apoptosis-related genes (TRAIL-R2, BAG3, BNIPI, HRK, Gadd45a, TP53BP2), 2 cytokine genes (IL6 and IL8) and 1 microRNA, and down-regulation of 1 apoptosis-related gene TNFSF10 and 2 cytokine genes (BMP6, BMP7) in transduced DU145 cells. HRK was identified as an up-regulated gene in AT2R-transduced PC-3 cells by real-time RT-PCR. Next, we utilized siRNAs to silence the up-regulated genes to further determine their roles on AT2R overexpression mediated apoptosis. The results showed downregulation of Gadd45a reduced the apoptotic effect by ∼30% in DU145 cells, downregulation of HRK reduced AT2R-mediated apoptosis by more than 50% in PC-3 cells, while downregulation of TRAIL-R2 enhanced AT2R-mediated apoptosis more than 4 times in DU145 cells. We also found that the effects on AT2R-mediated apoptosis caused by downregulation of Gadd45a, TRAIL-R2 and HRK were independent in activation of p38 MAPK, p44/42 MAPK and p53. Taken together, our results demonstrated that TRAIL-R2, Gadd45a and HRK may be novel target genes for further study of the mechanism of AT2R-mediated apoptosis in prostate cancer cells.

Lee GT, Kang DI, Ha YS, et al.
Prostate cancer bone metastases acquire resistance to androgen deprivation via WNT5A-mediated BMP-6 induction.
Br J Cancer. 2014; 110(6):1634-44 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Androgen ablation is the first-line therapy for patients with metastatic prostate cancer (CaP). However, castration resistance will eventually emerge. In the present study, we have investigated the role of bone morphogenetic protein-6 (BMP-6) in the development of castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) in the context of bone metastases.
METHODS: We initially investigated the clinical course of 158 men with advanced CaP who were treated with primary androgen deprivation therapy. To elucidate the underlying mechanism of CRPC in the context of bone metastases, we examined the impact of bone stromal cells on CaP in the absence of androgens using a co-culture model.
RESULTS: In the 158 patients, we found that the median time to prostate-specific antigen progression was significantly shorter when bone metastases were present (14 months (95% CI, 10.2-17.8 months) vs 57 months (95% CI, 19.4-94.6 months)). These results suggest that bone-tumour interactions may accelerate castration resistance. Consistent with this hypothesis, in vitro co-cultures demonstrated that CaP cells proliferated under an androgen-depleted condition when incubated with bone stromal cells. Mechanistically, gene expression analysis using quantitative polymerase chain reaction arrays showed a dramatic induction of BMP-6 by CaP cell lines in the presence of bone stromal cells. Further studies revealed that WNT5A derived from bone stromal cells induced the expression of BMP-6 by CaP cells; BMP-6 in turn stimulated cellular proliferation of CaP cells in an androgen-deprived media via a physical interaction between Smad5 and β-catenin. Intracellularly, WNT5A increased BMP-6 expression via protein kinase C/NF-κB pathway in CaP cell lines.
CONCLUSIONS: These observations suggest that bone-CaP interaction leads to castration resistance via WNT5A/BMP-6 loop.

He Y, Cui Y, Xu B, et al.
Hypermethylation leads to bone morphogenetic protein 6 downregulation in hepatocellular carcinoma.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(1):e87994 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: In the liver, bone morphogenetic protein 6 (BMP-6) maintains balanced iron metabolism. However, the mechanism that underlies greater BMP-6 expression in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) tissue than adjacent non-cancerous tissue is unclear. This study sought to investigate the epigenetic mechanisms of BMP-6 expression by analysing the relationship between the DNA methylation status of BMP-6 and the expression of BMP-6.
METHODS: Methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR), bisulphite sequencing PCR, the MethyLight assay, and quantitative real-time PCR were performed to examine BMP-6 methylation and mRNA expression levels. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) was performed on tissue arrays to evaluate the BMP-6 protein level.
RESULTS: BMP-6 mRNA expression was approximately 84.09% lower in HCC tissues than in adjacent non-cancerous tissues, and this low level of expression was associated with a poor prognosis. Moreover, the hypermethylation observed in HCC cell lines and HCC tissues was correlated with the BMP-6 mRNA expression level, and this correlation was validated following treatment with 5-aza-CdR, a demethylation agent. In addition, BMP-6 DNA methylation was upregulated by 68.42% in 114 clinical HCC tissue samples compared to adjacent normal tissues, whereas the BMP-6 staining intensity was downregulated by 77.03% in 75 clinical HCC tissue samples in comparison to adjacent normal tissues. Furthermore, elevated expression of BMP-6 in HCC cell lines inhibited cell colony formation.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that BMP-6 CpG island hypermethylation leads to decreased BMP-6 expression in HCC tissues.

Eberlein C, Rooney C, Ross SJ, et al.
E-Cadherin and EpCAM expression by NSCLC tumour cells associate with normal fibroblast activation through a pathway initiated by integrin αvβ6 and maintained through TGFβ signalling.
Oncogene. 2015; 34(6):704-16 [PubMed] Related Publications
Fibroblasts in the tumour stroma (cancer-associated fibroblasts) influence tumour progression and response to therapeutics; little is known about the mechanisms through which the tumour cell co-opts a normal fibroblast. To study the activation of fibroblasts by tumour cells, a panel of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell lines and normal human dermal fibroblasts were co-cultured. A subset of the NSCLC cells induced an activated cancer-associated fibroblast-like fibroblast phenotype defined by induction of fibroblast α-smooth muscle actin expression. Tumour cells that activated fibroblasts were associated with E-Cadherin and EpCAM expression and expression of integrin αvβ6. Co-culture of activating tumour cells with fibroblasts resulted in induction of transcripts associated with tumour cell invasion and growth, TGFβ1 and TGFBR1, SERPINE-1, BMP6, SPHK1 and MMP9. Fibroblast activation was inhibited by an αvβ6/8 integrin blocking antibody (264RAD) and a small molecule inhibitor of the TGF-beta type I receptor activin-like kinase (ALK5) (SB431542), demonstrating that transactivation of the TGFβ pathway initiates fibroblast activation. Both integrin and ALK5 antagonists inhibited initiation. Only ALK5 was effective when added after 3 days of co-culture. This suggests that although activation is αvβ6-dependent, once fibroblasts are activated alternative TGFβ pathway regulators maintain an activation loop. In co-culture activating cells had reduced sensitivity to selumetinib, AZD8931 and afatinib compared with mono-culture. In contrast, non-activating cells were insensitive to selumetinib and AZD8931 in both mono-culture and co-culture. In conclusion NSCLC cell lines, positive for E-Cadherin, EpCAM and αvβ6 expression, activate normal fibroblasts through avβ6/TGFβ signalling in vitro, and influence both gene expression and response to therapeutic agents.

Slattery ML, Lundgreen A, Stern MC, et al.
The influence of genetic ancestry and ethnicity on breast cancer survival associated with genetic variation in the TGF-β-signaling pathway: The Breast Cancer Health Disparities Study.
Cancer Causes Control. 2014; 25(3):293-307 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The TGF-β signaling pathway regulates cellular proliferation and differentiation. We evaluated genetic variation in this pathway, its association with breast cancer survival, and survival differences by genetic ancestry and self-reported ethnicity. The Breast Cancer Health Disparities Study includes participants from the 4-Corners Breast Cancer Study (n = 1,391 cases) and the San Francisco Bay Area Breast Cancer Study (n = 946 cases) who have been followed for survival. We evaluated 28 genes in the TGF-β signaling pathway using a tagSNP approach. Adaptive rank truncated product (ARTP) was used to test the gene and pathway significance by Native American (NA) ancestry and by self-reported ethnicity (non-Hispanic white (NHW) and Hispanic/NA). Genetic variation in the TGF-β signaling pathway was associated with overall breast cancer survival (P ARTP = 0.05), especially for women with low NA ancestry (P ARTP = 0.007) and NHW women (P ARTP = 0.006). BMP2, BMP4, RUNX1, and TGFBR3 were significantly associated with breast cancer survival overall (P ARTP = 0.04, 0.02, 0.002, and 0.04, respectively). Among women with low NA, ancestry associations were as follows: BMP4 (P ARTP = 0.007), BMP6 (P ARTP = 0.001), GDF10 (P ARTP = 0.05), RUNX1 (P ARTP = 0.002), SMAD1 (P ARTP = 0.05), and TGFBR2 (P ARTP = 0.02). A polygenic risk model showed that women with low NA ancestry and high numbers of at-risk alleles had twice the risk of dying from breast cancer as did women with high NA ancestry. Our data suggest that genetic variation in the TGF-β signaling pathway influences breast cancer survival. Associations were similar when the analyses were stratified by genetic ancestry or by self-reported ethnicity.

Schmidt J, Weijdegård B, Mikkelsen AL, et al.
Differential expression of inflammation-related genes in the ovarian stroma and granulosa cells of PCOS women.
Mol Hum Reprod. 2014; 20(1):49-58 [PubMed] Related Publications
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common female endocrine disorder. Ovarian changes in PCOS women are well characterized by ultrasound. However, the ovarian pathophysiology is not fully understood. The aim of this study was to characterize the expression, in both the central ovarian stroma and in granulosa cells (GCs), of a number of genes, including several inflammation-related genes, which have been hypothesized to be involved in the pathophysiology of PCOS. Biopsies of the central ovarian stroma were obtained from PCOS women (Rotterdam criteria) and from normally ovulating women in follicular phase. GCs were retrieved from PCOS-women and non-PCOS women, undergoing in vitro maturation. The expressions of 57 genes were analyzed by quantitative-PCR using a low-density-gene array. The main outcome measures were over-expression or under-expression of the specific genes. The results showed that in the central stroma of PCOS ovaries, five inflammation-related genes (CCL2, IL1R1, IL8, NOS2, TIMP1), the leukocyte marker CD45, the inflammation-related transcription factor RUNX2 and the growth factor AREG were under-expressed. The growth factor DUSP12 and the coagulation factor TFPI2 were over-expressed. In the GC of PCOS, all of the differentially expressed genes were over-expressed; the inflammation-related IL1B, IL8, LIF, NOS2 and PTGS2, the coagulation-related F3 and THBS1, the growth factors BMP6 and DUSP12, the permeability-related AQ3 and the growth-arrest-related GADD45A. In conclusion, the results indicate major alterations in the local ovarian immune system of PCOS ovaries. This may have implications for the PCOS-related defects in the inflammation-like ovulatory process and for the susceptibility to acquire the inflammatory state of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome.

Maddaluno L, Rudini N, Cuttano R, et al.
EndMT contributes to the onset and progression of cerebral cavernous malformations.
Nature. 2013; 498(7455):492-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cerebral cavernous malformation (CCM) is a vascular dysplasia, mainly localized within the brain and affecting up to 0.5% of the human population. CCM lesions are formed by enlarged and irregular blood vessels that often result in cerebral haemorrhages. CCM is caused by loss-of-function mutations in one of three genes, namely CCM1 (also known as KRIT1), CCM2 (OSM) and CCM3 (PDCD10), and occurs in both sporadic and familial forms. Recent studies have investigated the cause of vascular dysplasia and fragility in CCM, but the in vivo functions of this ternary complex remain unclear. Postnatal deletion of any of the three Ccm genes in mouse endothelium results in a severe phenotype, characterized by multiple brain vascular malformations that are markedly similar to human CCM lesions. Endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EndMT) has been described in different pathologies, and it is defined as the acquisition of mesenchymal- and stem-cell-like characteristics by the endothelium. Here we show that endothelial-specific disruption of the Ccm1 gene in mice induces EndMT, which contributes to the development of vascular malformations. EndMT in CCM1-ablated endothelial cells is mediated by the upregulation of endogenous BMP6 that, in turn, activates the transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) and bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signalling pathway. Inhibitors of the TGF-β and BMP pathway prevent EndMT both in vitro and in vivo and reduce the number and size of vascular lesions in CCM1-deficient mice. Thus, increased TGF-β and BMP signalling, and the consequent EndMT of CCM1-null endothelial cells, are crucial events in the onset and progression of CCM disease. These studies offer novel therapeutic opportunities for this severe, and so far incurable, pathology.

Lian WJ, Liu G, Liu YJ, et al.
Downregulation of BMP6 enhances cell proliferation and chemoresistance via activation of the ERK signaling pathway in breast cancer.
Oncol Rep. 2013; 30(1):193-200 [PubMed] Related Publications
Previous studies indicate that bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) 6 is involved in breast cancer development and progression. However, the mechanism underlying the role of BMP6 in breast cancer cell proliferation, differentiation and chemoresistance remains unknown. In this study, we confirmed that BMP6 expression was downregulated in breast cancer tissues compared with the adjacent normal breast tissues. We further demonstrated that the downregulation of BMP6 was correlated with the estrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone receptor (PR) status, tumor grade and enhanced proliferation (Ki67 proliferation index). In vitro functional experiments showed that the suppression of BMP6 expression by a specific small hairpin (sh)RNA vector led to increased proliferation in the MCF7 breast cancer cell line. Furthermore, knockdown of BMP6 in MCF7 cells enhanced the chemoresistance to doxorubicin by upregulation of mdr-1/P-gp expression and activation of the ERK signaling pathway. Taken together, our data suggest that BMP6 plays a critical role in breast cancer cell aberrant proliferation and chemoresistance and may serve as a novel diagnostic biomarker or therapeutic target for breast cancer.

Topić I, Ikić M, Ivčević S, et al.
Bone morphogenetic proteins regulate differentiation of human promyelocytic leukemia cells.
Leuk Res. 2013; 37(6):705-12 [PubMed] Related Publications
We investigated the role of bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) in suppression of all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA)-mediated differentiation of leukemic promyelocytes. In NB4 and HL60 cell lines, BMPs reduced the percentage of differentiated cells, and suppressed PU.1 and C/EBPε gene expression induced by ATRA. BMP and ATRA synergized in the induction of ID genes, causing suppression of differentiation. In primary acute promyelocytic leukemia bone-marrow samples, positive correlation of PML/RARα and negative of RARα with the expression of BMP-4, BMP-6 and ID genes were found. We concluded that BMPs may have oncogenic properties and mediate ATRA resistance by a mechanism that involves ID genes.

Väänänen RM, Lilja H, Cronin A, et al.
Association of transcript levels of 10 established or candidate-biomarker gene targets with cancerous versus non-cancerous prostate tissue from radical prostatectomy specimens.
Clin Biochem. 2013; 46(7-8):670-4 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: The benefits of PSA (prostate specific antigen)-testing in prostate cancer remain controversial with a consequential need for validation of additional biomarkers. We used highly standardized reverse-transcription (RT)-PCR assays to compare transcript levels of 10 candidate cancer marker genes - BMP6, FGF-8b, KLK2, KLK3, KLK4, KLK15, MSMB, PCA3, PSCA and Trpm8 - in carefully ascertained non-cancerous versus cancerous prostate tissue from patients with clinically localized prostate cancer treated by radical prostatectomy.
DESIGN AND METHODS: Total RNA was isolated from fresh frozen prostate tissue procured immediately after resection from two separate areas in each of 87 radical prostatectomy specimens. Subsequent histopathological assessment classified 86 samples as cancerous and 88 as histologically benign prostate tissue. Variation in total RNA recovery was accounted for by using external and internal standards and enabled us to measure transcript levels by RT-PCR in a highly quantitative manner.
RESULTS: Of the ten genes, there were significantly higher levels only of one of the less abundant transcripts, PCA3, in cancerous versus non-cancerous prostate tissue whereas PSCA mRNA levels were significantly lower in cancerous versus histologically benign tissue. Advanced pathologic stage was associated with significantly higher expression of KLK15 and PCA3 mRNAs. Median transcript levels of the most abundantly expressed genes (i.e. MSMB, KLK3, KLK4 and KLK2) in prostate tissue were up to 10(5)-fold higher than those of other gene targets.
CONCLUSIONS: PCA3 expression was associated with advanced pathological stage but the magnitude of overexpression of PCA3 in cancerous versus non-cancerous prostate tissue was modest compared to previously reported data.

Khalaf M, Morera J, Bourret A, et al.
BMP system expression in GCs from polycystic ovary syndrome women and the in vitro effects of BMP4, BMP6, and BMP7 on GC steroidogenesis.
Eur J Endocrinol. 2013; 168(3):437-44 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) are growth factors involved in the folliculogenesis. Alteration in their expression may compromise the reproductive process in disease such as the polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). This study investigated the expression and role of granulosa cell (GC) BMP from normal cycling and PCOS women.
METHODS AND RESULTS: This prospective study was performed in GCs obtained from 14 patients undergoing IVF: i) six women with normal ovulatory cycles and tubal or male infertility and ii) eight women with PCOS. BMP2, BMP4, BMP5, BMP6, BMP7, and BMP8A and their receptors BMPR1A, BMPR1B, and BMPR2 were identified by RT-PCR in GCs from normally cycling and PCOS women. BMP4, BMP6, and BMP7 expressions were confirmed by immunohistochemistry. Quantitative transcript analysis showed the predominant expression of BMP6. In GCs from PCOS women, an overexpression of BMP6 (P<0.01) and BMPR1A mRNA (P<0.05) was observed. GC culture experiments demonstrated that basal estradiol (E₂) production was threefold higher but FSH-induced E₂ increment was twofold lower in PCOS compared with controls. In PCOS, BMP6 and BMP7 exerted a stimulatory effect on basal E₂ production while BMP4 and BMP6 inhibited FSH-induced E₂ production. FSH receptor and aromatase expression were not different between both groups.
CONCLUSION: The BMP system is expressed in human GCs from normal cycling and PCOS women. The BMP may be involved in reproductive abnormalities found in PCOS.

Slattery ML, John EM, Torres-Mejia G, et al.
Genetic variation in bone morphogenetic proteins and breast cancer risk in hispanic and non-hispanic white women: The breast cancer health disparities study.
Int J Cancer. 2013; 132(12):2928-39 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMP) are thought to be important in breast cancer promotion and progression. We evaluated genetic variation in BMP-related genes and breast cancer risk among Hispanic (2,111 cases, 2,597 controls) and non-Hispanic White (NHW) (1,481 cases, 1,586 controls) women who participated in the 4-Corner's Breast Cancer Study, the Mexico Breast Cancer Study and the San Francisco Bay Area Breast Cancer Study. BMP genes and their receptors evaluated include ACVR1, AVCR2A, ACVR2B, ACVRL1, BMP1, BMP2, BMP4, BMP6, BMP7, BMPR1A, BMPR1B, BMPR2, MSTN and GDF10. Additionally, 104 ancestral informative markers were assessed to discriminate between European and native American ancestry. The importance of estrogen on BMP-related associations was suggested through unique associations by menopausal status and estrogen (ER) and progesterone (PR) receptor status of tumors. After adjustment for multiple comparisons ACVR1 (8 SNPs) was modestly associated with ER+PR+ tumors [odds ratios (ORs) between 1.18 and 1.39 padj < 0.05]. ACVR1 (3 SNPs) and BMP4 (3 SNPs) were associated with ER+PR- tumors (ORs 0.59-2.07; padj < 0.05). BMPR2 was associated with ER-PR+ tumors (OR 4.20; 95% CI 1.62, 10.91; padj < 0.05) as was GDF10 (2 SNPs; ORs 3.62 and 3.85; padj < 0.05). After adjustment for multiple comparisons several SNPs remained associated with ER-PR- tumors (padj < 0.05) including ACVR1 BMP4 and GDF10 (ORs between 0.53 and 2.12). Differences in association also were observed by percentage of native ancestry and menopausal status. Results support the hypothesis that genetic variation in BMPs is associated with breast cancer in this admixed population.

Barekati Z, Radpour R, Lu Q, et al.
Methylation signature of lymph node metastases in breast cancer patients.
BMC Cancer. 2012; 12:244 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Invasion and metastasis are two important hallmarks of malignant tumors caused by complex genetic and epigenetic alterations. The present study investigated the contribution of aberrant methylation profiles of cancer related genes, APC, BIN1, BMP6, BRCA1, CST6, ESR-b, GSTP1, P14 (ARF), P16 (CDKN2A), P21 (CDKN1A), PTEN, and TIMP3, in the matched axillary lymph node metastasis in comparison to the primary tumor tissue and the adjacent normal tissue from the same breast cancer patients to identify the potential of candidate genes methylation as metastatic markers.
METHODS: The quantitative methylation analysis was performed using the SEQUENOM's EpiTYPER™ assay which relies on matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS).
RESULTS: The quantitative DNA methylation analysis of the candidate genes showed higher methylation proportion in the primary tumor tissue than that of the matched normal tissue and the differences were significant for the APC, BIN1, BMP6, BRCA1, CST6, ESR-b, P16, PTEN and TIMP3 promoter regions (P<0.05). Among those candidate methylated genes, APC, BMP6, BRCA1 and P16 displayed higher methylation proportion in the matched lymph node metastasis than that found in the normal tissue (P<0.05). The pathway analysis revealed that BMP6, BRCA1 and P16 have a role in prevention of neoplasm metastasis.
CONCLUSIONS: The results of the present study showed methylation heterogeneity between primary tumors and metastatic lesion. The contribution of aberrant methylation alterations of BMP6, BRCA1 and P16 genes in lymph node metastasis might provide a further clue to establish useful biomarkers for screening metastasis.

Hashida Y, Nemoto Y, Imajoh M, et al.
Promoter methylation of the bone morphogenetic protein 6 gene in multiple myeloma.
Oncol Rep. 2012; 27(3):825-30 [PubMed] Related Publications
Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs), which belong to the transforming growth factor-β superfamily, are multifunctional signaling molecules that have become of increasing interest in cancer research. Recent observations suggest that alterations in BMPs and BMP signaling are associated with tumorigenesis and disease progression in various types of malignancies. This study investigated the methylation status of the BMP6 gene promoter in various types of plasma cell proliferative disorders by combined bisulfite restriction analysis. While BMP6 methylation was not detected in any samples from monoclonal gammopathies of undetermined significance, intramedullary multiple myeloma (MM), plasma cell leukemia or solitary plasmacytoma, both case studies and cell line studies showed that multiple extramedullary plasmacytoma (MEP) consistently carried a methylated BMP6 promoter. The BMP6 methylation-positive MEP was an aggressive form of MM with extremely high levels of serum lactate dehydrogenase (LDH). Bisulfite sequencing analysis confirmed intensive methylation at CpG sites of the BMP6 promoter region. The methylation of BMP6 was correlated with decreased levels of mRNA transcripts. Expression of BMP6 was restored by the demethylating agent 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine, suggesting that the methylation is associated with transcriptional silencing. Our study implied that BMP6 promoter methylation is not a common event in MMs, but occurs in aggressive MEP. These findings warrant further investigation to clarify whether BMP6 methylation together with elevated LDH could be a marker of poor prognosis in MEP patients who should be considered for early intensive treatment.

Maegdefrau U, Bosserhoff AK
BMP activated Smad signaling strongly promotes migration and invasion of hepatocellular carcinoma cells.
Exp Mol Pathol. 2012; 92(1):74-81 [PubMed] Related Publications
Several of the different bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) are involved in development and progression of specific tumors. For hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) only BMP4 and BMP6 are described to be important for carcinogenesis. However, up to now neither the influence of other BMPs on tumor progression, nor the responsible signaling pathways to mediate target gene expression in HCC are known. In order to characterize BMP expression pattern in HCC cell lines, we performed RT-PCR analysis and revealed enhanced expression levels of several BMPs (BMP4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13 and 15) in HCC. Thus, we treated HCC cells with the general BMP inhibitors chordin and noggin to determine the functional relevance of BMP overexpression and observed decreased migration and invasion of HCC cells. A cDNA microarray of noggin treated HCC cells was performed to analyze downstream targets of BMPs mediating these oncogenic functions. Subsequent analysis identified collagen XVI as 'Smad signaling specific' and nidogen-2 as 'MAPK/ERK signaling specific' BMP-target genes. To examine which signaling pathway is mainly responsible for the oncogenic role of BMPs in HCC, we treated HCC cells with dorsomorphin to determine the influence of BMP activated Smad signaling. Interestingly, also migratory and invasive behavior of dorsomorphin treated HCC cells was diminished. In summary, our findings demonstrate enhanced expression levels of several BMPs in HCC supporting enhanced migratory and invasive phenotype of HCC cells mainly via activation of Smad signaling.

Markić D, Ćelić T, Gršković A, et al.
mRNA expression of bone morphogenetic proteins and their receptors in human renal cell carcinoma.
Urol Int. 2011; 87(3):353-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) have been studied in several cancers, but only limited information is available about renal cell carcinomas (RCCs). We determined the expression of mRNA of several BMP ligands and BMP receptors (BMPRs) in healthy kidney tissue and RCCs, and data were compared to clinicopathological parameters.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Sixty-four samples of RCCs and healthy renal tissues were prospectively examined. The expression of BMP2, BMP4, BMP6, BMP7, BMPRIA, BMPRIB and BMPRII mRNA was determined using semiquantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction.
RESULTS: The expression levels of different BMP ligands and BMPRs were considerably higher in RCCs than in normal kidney tissue. BMP ligands showed elevated expression in clear-cell RCCs, whereas all three BMPRs showed higher expression levels in non-clear-cell RCCs. In clear-cell RCCs, the expression levels of BMP2 progressively increased and expression levels of BMP6, BMP7 and BMPRIB were lost with higher tumor stage.
CONCLUSIONS: All BMPs and their receptors have stronger expression levels in RCC. The expression level of BMP2 is strongly elevated in kidney cancer.

Maegdefrau U, Arndt S, Kivorski G, et al.
Downregulation of hemojuvelin prevents inhibitory effects of bone morphogenetic proteins on iron metabolism in hepatocellular carcinoma.
Lab Invest. 2011; 91(11):1615-23 [PubMed] Related Publications
Recently, we revealed that bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) 4 is increased in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Furthermore, latest reports described BMPs, in particular BMP6, as important regulators of hepcidin expression in iron homeostasis. Therefore, we aimed to unravel why enhanced BMP expression in HCC patients does not lead to severe changes in iron metabolism. Initial analysis of the BMP4 and BMP6 expression patterns revealed enhanced expression on mRNA and protein level in HCC cell lines and tissue samples compared with primary human hepatocytes (PHHs) and normal liver tissues. However and interestingly, hepcidin expression was reduced in HCC cell lines and tissues. Analysis of BMP6 receptor expression revealed loss of BMP6-specific receptor subunit in HCC. To identify a possible regulatory mechanism causing lack of reaction to BMP4 we analyzed the expression of hemojuvelin (HJV), which is involved in iron metabolism as BMP co-receptor. HJV expression was markedly decreased in HCC cell lines and tissues. HJV promoter analysis revealed potential HNF-1α and snail-binding sites, but functional analysis ruled out that these transcriptional regulators or promoter methylation are the cause of HJV downregulation in HCC. However, we identified AU-rich elements in the HJV 3'-untranslated region and revealed significantly faster decay of HJV mRNA in HCC cells as compared with PHH indicating decreased mRNA-stability as the reason for the loss of HJV expression in HCC.

McLean K, Gong Y, Choi Y, et al.
Human ovarian carcinoma–associated mesenchymal stem cells regulate cancer stem cells and tumorigenesis via altered BMP production.
J Clin Invest. 2011; 121(8):3206-19 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Accumulating evidence suggests that mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are recruited to the tumor microenvironment; however, controversy exists regarding their role in solid tumors. In this study, we identified and confirmed the presence of carcinoma-associated MSCs (CA-MSCs) in the majority of human ovarian tumor samples that we analyzed. These CA-MSCs had a normal morphologic appearance, a normal karyotype, and were nontumorigenic. CA-MSCs were multipotent with capacity for differentiating into adipose, cartilage, and bone. When combined with tumor cells in vivo, CA-MSCs promoted tumor growth more effectively than did control MSCs. In vitro and in vivo studies suggested that CA-MSCs promoted tumor growth by increasing the number of cancer stem cells. Although CA-MSCs expressed traditional MSCs markers, they had an expression profile distinct from that of MSCs from healthy individuals, including increased expression of BMP2, BMP4, and BMP6. Importantly, BMP2 treatment in vitro mimicked the effects of CA-MSCs on cancer stem cells, while inhibiting BMP signaling in vitro and in vivo partly abrogated MSC-promoted tumor growth. Taken together, our data suggest that MSCs in the ovarian tumor microenvironment have an expression profile that promotes tumorigenesis and that BMP inhibition may be an effective therapeutic approach for ovarian cancer.

Chaston TB, Matak P, Pourvali K, et al.
Hypoxia inhibits hepcidin expression in HuH7 hepatoma cells via decreased SMAD4 signaling.
Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2011; 300(4):C888-95 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Hepcidin negatively regulates systemic iron homeostasis in response to inflammation and elevated serum iron. Conversely, hepcidin expression is diminished in response to hypoxia, oxidative stress, and increased erythropoietic demand, though the molecular intermediates involved are incompletely understood. To address this, we have investigated hypoxic hepcidin regulation in HuH7 hepatoma cells either cultured alone or cocultured with activated THP-1 macrophages. HuH7 hepcidin mRNA expression was determined using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (Q-PCR). Hepcidin promoter activity was measured using luciferase reporter constructs containing a 0.9 kb fragment of the wild-type human hepcidin promoter, and constructs containing mutations in bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)/SMAD4, signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3), CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein (C/EBP), and E-box-responsive elements. Hepatic expression of bone morphogenetic proteins BMP2 and BMP6 and the BMP inhibitor noggin was determined using Q-PCR, and the protein expression of hemojuvelin (HJV), pSMAD 1/5/8, and SMAD4 was determined by western blotting. Following exposure to hypoxia or H(2)O(2), hepcidin mRNA expression and promoter activity increased in HuH7 cells monocultures but were decreased in HuH7 cells cocultured with THP-1 macrophages. This repression was attenuated by mutation of the BMP/SMAD4-response element, suggesting that modulation of SMAD signaling mediated the response to hypoxia. No changes in hepatocyte BMP2, BMP6 or noggin mRNA, or protein expression of HJV or pSMAD 1/5/8 were detected. However, treatment with hypoxia caused a marked decrease in nuclear and cytosolic SMAD4 protein and SMAD4 mRNA expression in cocultured HuH7 cells. Together these data indicate that hypoxia represses hepcidin expression through inhibition of BMP/SMAD signaling.

Radpour R, Barekati Z, Kohler C, et al.
Hypermethylation of tumor suppressor genes involved in critical regulatory pathways for developing a blood-based test in breast cancer.
PLoS One. 2011; 6(1):e16080 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Aberrant DNA methylation patterns might be used as a biomarker for diagnosis and management of cancer patients.
METHODS AND FINDINGS: To achieve a gene panel for developing a breast cancer blood-based test we quantitatively assessed the DNA methylation proportion of 248 CpG sites per sample (total of 31,248 sites in all analyzed samples) on 10 candidate genes (APC, BIN1, BMP6, BRCA1, CST6, ESR-b, GSTP1, P16, P21 and TIMP3). The number of 126 samples consisting of two different cohorts was used (first cohort: plasma samples from breast cancer patients and normal controls; second cohort: triple matched samples including cancerous tissue, matched normal tissue and serum samples). In the first cohort, circulating cell free methylated DNA of the 8 tumor suppressor genes (TSGs) was significantly higher in patients with breast cancer compared to normal controls (P<0.01). In the second cohort containing triple matched samples, seven genes showed concordant hypermethylated profile in tumor tissue and serum samples compared to normal tissue (P<0.05). Using eight genes as a panel to develop a blood-based test for breast cancer, a sensitivity and specificity of more than 90% could be achieved in distinguishing between tumor and normal samples.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study suggests that the selected TSG panel combined with the high-throughput technology might be a useful tool to develop epigenetic based predictive and prognostic biomarker for breast cancer relying on pathologic methylation changes in tumor tissue, as well as in circulation.

Matthews D, LaPorta E, Zinser GM, et al.
Genomic vitamin D signaling in breast cancer: Insights from animal models and human cells.
J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2010; 121(1-2):362-7 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
These studies focus on identification of vitamin D regulated pathways that impact development or progression of breast cancer. In mouse experiments, we assessed genomic profiles of glandular tissue and established tumors from MMTV-neu mice fed adequate (250 IU/kg) or high (5000 IU/kg) vitamin D (cholecalciferol). Genomic profiles were also obtained in murine mammary cells that differentially express VDR that were cultured in vitro with 100 nM 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25D). Ten candidate genes were identified that were commonly regulated in murine cells treated with 1,25D in vitro and in mammary gland of mice fed high dietary vitamin D. In complementary studies, the vitamin D pathway was evaluated in human mammary epithelial cells as a function of transformation. Genes regulated by 1,25D in human mammary epithelial cells included those involved in innate immunity (CD14), differentiation (Bmp6), extracellular matrix remodeling (Plau) and cell survival (Birc3). Transformation reduced VDR content and blunted the induction of some, but not all, target genes by 1,25D in human mammary cells. Collectively, these in vivo and in vitro data demonstrate that vitamin D signaling impacts on common pathways that drive differentiation, alter metabolism, remodel the extracellular matrix and trigger innate immunity in mammary tissue.

Hinoue T, Weisenberger DJ, Pan F, et al.
Analysis of the association between CIMP and BRAF in colorectal cancer by DNA methylation profiling.
PLoS One. 2009; 4(12):e8357 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
A CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP) is displayed by a distinct subset of colorectal cancers with a high frequency of DNA hypermethylation in a specific group of CpG islands. Recent studies have shown that an activating mutation of BRAF (BRAF(V600E)) is tightly associated with CIMP, raising the question of whether BRAF(V600E) plays a causal role in the development of CIMP or whether CIMP provides a favorable environment for the acquisition of BRAF(V600E). We employed Illumina GoldenGate DNA methylation technology, which interrogates 1,505 CpG sites in 807 different genes, to further study this association. We first examined whether expression of BRAF(V600E) causes DNA hypermethylation by stably expressing BRAF(V600E) in the CIMP-negative, BRAF wild-type COLO 320DM colorectal cancer cell line. We determined 100 CIMP-associated CpG sites and examined changes in DNA methylation in eight stably transfected clones over multiple passages. We found that BRAF(V600E) is not sufficient to induce CIMP in our system. Secondly, considering the alternative possibility, we identified genes whose DNA hypermethylation was closely linked to BRAF(V600E) and CIMP in 235 primary colorectal tumors. Interestingly, genes that showed the most significant link include those that mediate various signaling pathways implicated in colorectal tumorigenesis, such as BMP3 and BMP6 (BMP signaling), EPHA3, KIT, and FLT1 (receptor tyrosine kinases) and SMO (Hedgehog signaling). Furthermore, we identified CIMP-dependent DNA hypermethylation of IGFBP7, which has been shown to mediate BRAF(V600E)-induced cellular senescence and apoptosis. Promoter DNA hypermethylation of IGFBP7 was associated with silencing of the gene. CIMP-specific inactivation of BRAF(V600E)-induced senescence and apoptosis pathways by IGFBP7 DNA hypermethylation might create a favorable context for the acquisition of BRAF(V600E) in CIMP+ colorectal cancer. Our data will be useful for future investigations toward understanding CIMP in colorectal cancer and gaining insights into the role of aberrant DNA hypermethylation in colorectal tumorigenesis.

Fernandez SV, Russo J
Estrogen and xenoestrogens in breast cancer.
Toxicol Pathol. 2010; 38(1):110-22 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
There is growing concern that estrogenic environmental compounds that act as endocrine-disrupting chemicals might potentially have adverse effects on hormone-sensitive organs such as the breast. This concern is further fueled by evidence indicating that natural estrogens, specifically 17beta-estradiol, are important factors in the initiation and progression of breast cancer. We have developed an in vitro-in vivo model in which we have demonstrated the carcinogenicity of E2 in human breast epithelial cells MCF-10F. Hypermethylation of NRG1, STXBP6, BMP6, CSS3, SPRY1, and SNIP were found at different progression stages in this model. The use of this powerful and unique model has provided a tool for exploring whether bisphenol A and butyl benzyl phthalate have relevance in the initiation of breast cancer. These studies provide firsthand evidence that the natural estrogen 17beta-estradiol and xenoestrogenic substances like bisphenol A are able to induce neoplastic transformation in human breast epithelial cells.

Grcević D, Kusec R, Kovacić N, et al.
Bone morphogenetic proteins and receptors are over-expressed in bone-marrow cells of multiple myeloma patients and support myeloma cells by inducing ID genes.
Leuk Res. 2010; 34(6):742-51 [PubMed] Related Publications
We assessed the expression pattern and clinical relevance of BMPs and related molecules in multiple myeloma (MM). MM bone-marrow samples (n=32) had increased BMP4, BMP6, ACVR1 and ACVR2A, and decreased NOG expression compared with controls (n=15), with BMP6 having the highest sensitivity/specificity. Within MM bone-marrow, the source of BMPs was mainly CD138(+) plasma-cell population, and BMP6 and ACVR1 expression correlated with plasma-cell percentage. Using myeloma cell lines NCI H929 and Thiel we showed that BMPs induced ID1, ID2 and IL6, and suppressed CDKN1A and BAX gene expression, and BAX protein expression. Finally, BMPs partially protected myeloma cells from bortezomib- and TRAIL-induced apoptosis. We concluded that BMPs may be involved in MM pathophysiology and serve as myeloma cell biomarkers.

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