Gene Summary

Gene:BMPR2; bone morphogenetic protein receptor type 2
Aliases: BMR2, PPH1, BMPR3, BRK-3, POVD1, T-ALK, BMPR-II
Summary:This gene encodes a member of the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) receptor family of transmembrane serine/threonine kinases. The ligands of this receptor are BMPs, which are members of the TGF-beta superfamily. BMPs are involved in endochondral bone formation and embryogenesis. These proteins transduce their signals through the formation of heteromeric complexes of two different types of serine (threonine) kinase receptors: type I receptors of about 50-55 kD and type II receptors of about 70-80 kD. Type II receptors bind ligands in the absence of type I receptors, but they require their respective type I receptors for signaling, whereas type I receptors require their respective type II receptors for ligand binding. Mutations in this gene have been associated with primary pulmonary hypertension, both familial and fenfluramine-associated, and with pulmonary venoocclusive disease. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:bone morphogenetic protein receptor type-2
Source:NCBIAccessed: 01 September, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (45)
Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
Show (3)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 01 September 2019 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.

  • src-Family Kinases
  • Smad1 Protein
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Breast Cancer
  • Young Adult
  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein Receptors, Type I
  • Apoptosis
  • Activin Receptors, Type II
  • Transfection
  • Xenograft Models
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta Receptors
  • SMAD4
  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Sequence Homology
  • Mutation
  • Receptor, Transforming Growth Factor-beta Type II
  • Transcriptional Activation
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Bladder Cancer
  • Cell Surface Receptors
  • Neurofibromatosis 1
  • Transcription Factor RelA
  • Smad Proteins
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein 2
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Trans-Activators
  • Messenger RNA
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein 7
  • Radiography
  • Promoter Regions
  • Activin Receptors, Type I
  • Chromosome 2
  • Risk Assessment
  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein 4
  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein Receptors, Type II
  • Viral Proteins
Tag cloud generated 01 September, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (4)

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: BMPR2 (cancer-related)

Li Y, Xiao F, Li W, et al.
Overexpression of Opa interacting protein 5 increases the progression of liver cancer via BMPR2/JUN/CHEK1/RAC1 dysregulation.
Oncol Rep. 2019; 41(4):2075-2088 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Opa interacting protein 5 (OIP5) overexpression is associated with human carcinoma. However, its biological function, underlying mechanism and clinical significance in liver cancer remain unknown. In the present study, the effects of OIP5 expression on liver cancer, and the mechanisms regulating these effects, were investigated. OIP5 expression was measured in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) tissues and liver cancer cell lines. The effect of OIP5 knockdown on tumorigenesis was also detected in nude mice, and differentially‑expressed genes (DEGs) were identified and their biological functions were identified. The results indicated that OIP5 expression was significantly upregulated in HCC tissues and four liver cancer cell lines (P<0.01). Increased OIP5 protein expression significantly predicted reduced survival rate of patients with HCC (P<0.01). OIP5 knockdown resulted in the suppression of proliferation and colony forming abilities, cell cycle arrest at the G0/G1 or G2/M phases, and promotion of cell apoptosis. A total of 628 DEGs, including 87 upregulated and 541 downregulated genes, were identified following OIP5 knockdown. Functional enrichment analysis indicated that DEGs were involved in 'RNA Post‑Transcriptional Modification, Cancer and Organismal Injury and Abnormalities'. Finally, OIP5 knockdown in Huh7 cells dysregulated bone morphogenetic protein receptor type 2/JUN/checkpoint kinase 1/Rac family small GTPase 1 expression. In conclusion, the overall results demonstrated the involvement of OIP5 in the progression of liver cancer and its mechanism of action.

Chen J, Li C, Zhan R, Yin Y
SPG6 supports development of acute myeloid leukemia by regulating BMPR2-Smad-Bcl-2/Bcl-xl signaling.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2018; 501(1):220-225 [PubMed] Related Publications
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is the most common acute leukemia affecting adults. To effectively treat AML, new molecular targets and therapeutic approaches must be identified. In silico analysis of several available databases of AML patients showed that the expression of Spastic Paraplegia 6 Protein (SPG6) significantly inversely correlates with the overall survival of AML patients. To determine whether SPG6 supports AML development, we employed an shRNA-encoding lentivirus system to inhibit SPG6 expression in human AML cells including NB4 and MV4-11 cells. Knockdown expression of SPG6 resulted in decreased cell growth and elevated apoptosis of these leukemia cells. Notably, the SPG6 deficiency resulted in higher BMPR2 expression indicating that BMPR2 signaling contributes to AML pathogenesis. Furthermore, SPG6 deficiency promoted phosphorylation of Smad1/5/9 and decreased transcription of Bcl-2 and Bcl-xl. Our study suggests that SPG6 contributes to AML pathogenesis, and suggests that inhibition of SPG6 may be novel strategy for treating human AML.

Mundy C, Yang E, Takano H, et al.
Heparan sulfate antagonism alters bone morphogenetic protein signaling and receptor dynamics, suggesting a mechanism in hereditary multiple exostoses.
J Biol Chem. 2018; 293(20):7703-7716 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Hereditary multiple exostoses (HME) is a pediatric disorder caused by heparan sulfate (HS) deficiency and is characterized by growth plate-associated osteochondromas. Previously, we found that osteochondroma formation in mouse models is preceded by ectopic bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling in the perichondrium, but the mechanistic relationships between BMP signaling and HS deficiency remain unclear. Therefore, we used an HS antagonist (surfen) to investigate the effects of this HS interference on BMP signaling, ligand availability, cell-surface BMP receptor (BMPR) dynamics, and BMPR interactions in Ad-293 and C3H/10T1/2 cells. As observed previously, the HS interference rapidly increased phosphorylated SMAD family member 1/5/8 levels. FACS analysis and immunoblots revealed that the cells possessed appreciable levels of endogenous cell-surface BMP2/4 that were unaffected by the HS antagonist, suggesting that BMP2/4 proteins remained surface-bound but became engaged in BMPR interactions and SMAD signaling. Indeed, surface mobility of SNAP-tagged BMPRII, measured by fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP), was modulated during the drug treatment. This suggested that the receptors had transitioned to lipid rafts acting as signaling centers, confirmed for BMPRII via ultracentrifugation to separate membrane subdomains.

Yu Z, Zhao R
Inhibition of anaplastic lymphoma kinase promotes apoptosis and suppresses proliferation in human hepatocellular carcinoma.
Anticancer Drugs. 2018; 29(6):513-519 [PubMed] Related Publications
Our study was to examine the roles of crizotinib and ceritinib in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells and explore the possible mechanisms. MTT assay was employed to examine the proliferation of five HCC cell lines treated with various concentrations of crizotinib or ceritinib. HepG2 and HCCLM3 cells were incubated with 2 nmol/l ceritinib for 1 week, followed by crystal violet staining and cell counting. Protein amounts of t-ALK, p-ALK, t-AKT, p-AKT, t-ERK, p-ERK, Mcl-1, survivin, and XIAP in HepG2 cells under different culture conditions were evaluated by western blot. HepG2 and HCCLM3 cells were treated with vehicle or ceritinib and measured by flow cytometry apoptosis analysis with Annexin-V/propidium iodide staining. MTT assay showed that both crizotinib and ceritinib suppressed the proliferation of various human HCC cells. Crystal violet staining analysis also indicated that ceritinib effectively inhibited human HCC cell proliferation. Western blot analysis indicated that both crizotinib and ceritinib inhibited ALK, AKT, and ERK phosphorylations. In addition, ceritinib reduced antiapoptotic gene expressions in HepG2 cells. Flow cytometry analysis indicated that ceritinib induced HepG2 and HCCLM3 cells apoptosis. ALK inhibitor exhibited antitumor effects by inhibiting ALK activation, repressing AKT and ERK pathways, and suppressing antiapoptotic gene expressions, which subsequently promoted apoptosis and suppressed HCC cell proliferations.

Cui X, Jing X, Wu X, et al.
Abnormal expression levels of BMP15/Smad1 are associated with granulosa cell apoptosis in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome.
Mol Med Rep. 2017; 16(6):8231-8236 [PubMed] Related Publications
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common endocrine disorder that affects reproductive dysfunction and metabolism in women of childbearing age. An increasing number of studies have suggested that the bone morphogenetic protein 15 (BMP15) signalling pathway serves an important role in the pathogenesis of PCOS; however, the full mechanism remains unknown. The present study revealed that intrinsic follicular dysplasia may be associated with regulation disorders of ovarian granulosa cell apoptosis. Compared with the control group, body mass index, luteinising hormone and testosterone levels were significantly increased (P<0.05). The percentage of S phase cells was significantly higher, cells in G2/M phase cells was significantly lower, and cells undergoing apoptosis was significantly higher in the PCOS group compared with the control group (P<0.05). The expression levels of B‑cell lymphoma 2 was significantly decreased in granulosa cells of PCOS group, whereas the expression of caspase‑3 was higher than the control group (P<0.05). The rate of apoptosis of granulosa cells was measured by a terminal deoxynucleotide transferase dUTP nick‑end labelling assay. The relative mRNA expression levels of BMP receptor 2 and SMAD1 were significantly decreased in granulosa cells in the PCOS group compared with the control (P<0.05). In addition, the expression of BMP15 in follicular fluid and Smad1 in granulosa cells was significantly decreased in the PCOS group compared with the control (P<0.05). The data suggested that the BMP15/Smad1 signalling pathway may be involved in granulosa cell apoptosis, and may be a target for clinical treatment for PCOS.

Martínez VG, Rubio C, Martínez-Fernández M, et al.
BMP4 Induces M2 Macrophage Polarization and Favors Tumor Progression in Bladder Cancer.
Clin Cancer Res. 2017; 23(23):7388-7399 [PubMed] Related Publications

Nishio K, Ozawa Y, Ito H, et al.
Functional expression of BMP7 receptors in oral epithelial cells. Interleukin-17F production in response to BMP7.
J Recept Signal Transduct Res. 2017; 37(5):515-521 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) are members of the transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) superfamily. Recently, BMP7 has been demonstrated to be produced by salivary glands and contribute to embryonic branching in mice. The BMP7 in saliva is thought to be delivered to the oral cavity and is expected to contact with stratified squamous epithelial cells which line the surface of oral mucosa. In this study, we attempted to investigate the effects of BMP7 on oral epithelial cells.
METHODS: The expression of BMP receptors was examined by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). OSCCs were stimulated with human recombinant BMP7 (hrBMP7) and the phosphorylation status of Smad1/5/8 was examined by western blotting. For microarray analysis, Ca9-22 cells were stimulated with 100 ng/mL of hrBMP7 and total RNA was extracted and subjected to real-time PCR. The 5'-untranslated region (5'-UTR) of IL-17 F gene was cloned to pGL4-basic vector and used for luciferase assay. Ca9-22 cells were pre-incubated with DM3189, a specific inhibitor of Smad1/5/8, for inhibition assay.
RESULTS: All isoforms of type I and type II BMP receptors were expressed in both Ca9-22 and HSC3 cells and BMP7 stimulation resulted in the phosphorylation of Smad1/5/8 in both cell lines. The microarray analysis revealed the induction of interleukin-17 F (IL-17 F), netrin G2 (NTNG2) and hyaluronan synthase 1 (HAS1). Luciferase assay using the 5'-UTR of the IL-17 F gene revealed transcriptional regulation. Induced IL-17 F production was further confirmed at the protein level by ELISA. Smad1/5/8 inhibitor pretreatment decreased IL-17 F expression levels in the cells.

Girerd B, Lau E, Montani D, Humbert M
Genetics of pulmonary hypertension in the clinic.
Curr Opin Pulm Med. 2017; 23(5):386-391 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Heritable pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is an autosomal dominant disease with incomplete penetrance because of mutations in bone morphogenetic protein receptor-II (BMPR2), activin A receptor type II-like kinase 1, endoglin, caveolin-1, potassium channel subfamily K, member 3, and T-box gene 4 genes. Heritable pulmonary veno-occlusive disease and/or pulmonary capillary hemangiomatosis (PVOD/PCH) is an autosomal recessive disease because of biallelic mutations in the eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2 alpha kinase 4 gene. The 2015 european society of cardiology (ESC) and european respiratory society (ERS) pulmonary hypertension guidelines recommend genetic counselling and testing to adults and children with PAH or PVOD/PCH as well as in adult relatives at risk of carrying a predisposing mutation.
RECENT FINDINGS: In France, genetic counseling and testing are offered to all patients displaying sporadic or familial form of PAH or PVOD/PCH and to their relatives at high risk of carrying a predisposing mutation. Patients with a heritable form of PAH are younger at diagnosis with a worse hemodynamic and a dismal prognosis. Patients with a heritable form of PVOD/PCH are younger at diagnosis with a worse response to specific PAH therapies. A program to detect PAH in an early phase was offered to all asymptomatic BMPR2 mutation carriers, according to the 2015 ESC/ERS guidelines. Finally, preimplantation genetic diagnosis has been performed in families with a history of BMPR2 mutations.
SUMMARY: Genetic counseling and testing has to be implemented in pulmonary hypertension centers.

Pei YF, Zhang YJ, Lei Y, et al.
Hypermethylation of the CHRDL1 promoter induces proliferation and metastasis by activating Akt and Erk in gastric cancer.
Oncotarget. 2017; 8(14):23155-23166 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
CHRDL1 (Chordin-like 1) is a secreted protein that acts as an antagonist of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP). BMP plays a role as an activator of BMP receptor II (BMPR II), which mediates extracellular to intracellular signal transmission and is involved in carcinogenesis and metastasis. Herein, we report that CHRDL1 expression was significantly down-regulated in gastric cancer tissues and associated with poor survival. Clinic-pathological parameters demonstrated a close relationship between low CHRDL1 expression and metastasis. In vitro, CHRDL1 knockdown promoted tumor cell proliferation and migration through BMPR II by activating Akt, Erk and β-catenin. Furthermore, we observed the hypermethylation of the CHRDL1 promoter in gastric cancer, which induced low expression of CHRDL1 and decreased its secretion to the supernatant. Finally, in vivo experiments confirmed that CHRDL1 acted as a tumor suppressor gene in suppressing tumor growth and metastasis.

Hirschhorn T, Levi-Hofman M, Danziger O, et al.
Differential molecular regulation of processing and membrane expression of Type-I BMP receptors: implications for signaling.
Cell Mol Life Sci. 2017; 74(14):2645-2662 [PubMed] Related Publications
The Type-I bone morphogenetic protein receptors (BMPRs), BMPR1A and BMPR1B, present the highest sequence homology among BMPRs, suggestive of functional similitude. However, sequence elements within their extracellular domain, such as signal sequence or N-glycosylation motifs, may result in differential regulation of biosynthetic processing and trafficking and in alterations to receptor function. We show that (i) BMPR1A and the ubiquitous isoform of BMPR1B differed in mode of translocation into the endoplasmic reticulum; and (ii) BMPR1A was N-glycosylated while BMPR1B was not, resulting in greater efficiency of processing and plasma membrane expression of BMPR1A. We further demonstrated the importance of BMPR1A expression and glycosylation in ES-2 ovarian cancer cells, where (i) CRISPR/Cas9-mediated knockout of BMPR1A abrogated BMP2-induced Smad1/5/8 phosphorylation and reduced proliferation of ES-2 cells and (ii) inhibition of N-glycosylation by site-directed mutagenesis, or by tunicamycin or 2-deoxy-D-glucose treatments, reduced biosynthetic processing and plasma membrane expression of BMPR1A and BMP2-induced Smad1/5/8 phosphorylation.

Heng L, Jia Z, Bai J, et al.
Molecular characterization of metastatic osteosarcoma: Differentially expressed genes, transcription factors and microRNAs.
Mol Med Rep. 2017; 15(5):2829-2836 [PubMed] Related Publications
The present study aimed to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying osteosarcoma metastasis. Microarray dataset GSE49003 was downloaded from the Gene Expression Omnibus database and used for analysis. Raw expression data were preprocessed using the preprocessCore, impute and aggregate packages in R. Differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between metastatic and non‑metastatic osteosarcoma cell lines were screened using the limma package following exclusion of DEGs with a higher significance in intra‑groups compared with inter‑groups using the genefilter package. Enrichment analysis was performed on DEGs using TargetMine, followed by identification of transcription factors (TFs) and microRNAs (miRNAs). Regulatory networks were constructed using Cytoscape software. A total of 248 upregulated and 208 downregulated genes were obtained. The upregulated genes were significantly enriched in the following pathways: Downregulation of transforming growth factor β (TGF‑β) receptor signaling and TGF‑β receptor signaling activates SMADs; these upregulated genes included protein phosphatase 1, regulatory subunit 15A, transforming growth factor, β receptor II and ubiquitin carboxyl‑terminal hydrolase L5. In addition, some upregulated genes were enriched in lung cancer disease ontology, including epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), insulin‑like growth factor 2 mRNA binding protein 3 (IGF2BP3), runt‑related transcription factor 3 (RUNX3) and secreted frizzled‑related protein 1 (SFRP1). Conversely, the downregulated genes were significantly enriched in extracellular matrix‑associated pathways or functions, such as collagen, type XII, α 1; collagen, type I, α 1; collagen, type IV, α 1; and collagen, type V, α 1. In addition, some downregulated genes were significantly enriched in the TGF‑β signaling pathway, including bone morphogenetic protein 4, inhibitor of DNA binding 3 and SMAD family member 6. A total of 10 TFs and 84 miRNAs (e.g. miR-21-5p) were deemed to be associated with DEGs. In conclusion, DEGs enriched in the downregulation of TGF‑β receptor signaling, TGF‑β receptor signaling activates SMADs and TGF‑β signaling pathways, as well as the extracellular matrix may be implicated in the progression of osteosarcoma metastasis. Dysregulated EGFR, IGF2BP3, RUNX3 and SFRP1 may contribute to the metastasis of osteosarcoma to the lungs. In addition, screened TFs and miR-21-5p may be associated with metastasis via target genes.

Zhang Y, Cao AL, Dong C
rs10719 Polymorphism Located within DROSHA 3'-Untranslated Region is Responsible for Development of Primary Hypertension by Disrupting Binding with microRNA-27b.
Med Sci Monit. 2017; 23:911-918 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND MiR-27b is reportedly involved with many diseases (e.g., gastric cancer) by acting on different signaling pathways. In this study, we aimed at understanding the relationship between miR-27b and hypertension and its underlying molecular mechanism. MATERIAL AND METHODS Peripheral blood was collected from patients with hypertension, and statistical analysis was performed to study the association between rs10719 and risk of hypertension. Tissue samples were collected from patients with lung cancer, and the expression of miR-27b and DROSHA was determined using Western blot analysis and real-time PCR. RESULTS We first searched the miRNA database online, and identified DROSHA as a virtual target of miR-27b with the "seed sequence" located within the 3'-UTR of the target gene, and then validated DROSHA to be the direct gene via luciferase reporter assay system. We also established the negative regulatory relationship between miR-27b and DROSHA via studying the relative luciferase activity. We also conducted real-time PCR to study the mRNA and protein expression level of miR-27b among different groups. Furthermore, we conducted real-time PCR and densitometry analysis to study the mRNA and protein expression level of DROSHA among different groups of cells treated with scramble control, miR-27b mimics, DROSHA siRNA, and miR-27b inhibitors to verify the negative regulatory relationship between MiR-27b and DROSHA. CONCLUSIONS The presence of rs10719 disrupted the interaction between miR-27b and DROSHA, which might be the underlying mechanism of the observation that rs10719 is significantly associated with risk of primary hypertension.

Montani D, Girerd B, Jaïs X, et al.
Clinical phenotypes and outcomes of heritable and sporadic pulmonary veno-occlusive disease: a population-based study.
Lancet Respir Med. 2017; 5(2):125-134 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Bi-allelic mutations of the EIF2AK4 gene cause heritable pulmonary veno-occlusive disease and/or pulmonary capillary haemangiomatosis (PVOD/PCH). We aimed to assess the effect of EIF2AK4 mutations on the clinical phenotypes and outcomes of PVOD/PCH.
METHODS: We did a population-based study using clinical, functional, and haemodynamic data from the registry of the French Pulmonary Hypertension Network. We reviewed the clinical data and outcomes from all patients referred to the French Referral Centre (Pulmonary Department, Hospital Kremlin-Bicêtre, University Paris-Sud) with either confirmed or highly probable PVOD/PCH with DNA available for mutation screening (excluding patients with other risk factors of pulmonary hypertension, such as chronic respiratory diseases). We sequenced the coding sequence and intronic junctions of the EIF2AK4 gene, and compared clinical characteristics and outcomes between EIF2AK4 mutation carriers and non-carriers. Medical therapies approved for pulmonary arterial hypertension (prostacyclin derivatives, endothelin receptor antagonists and phosphodiesterase type-5 inhibitors) were given to patients according to the clinical judgment and discretion of treating physicians. The primary outcome was the event-free survival (death or transplantation). Secondary outcomes included response to therapies for pulmonary arterial hypertension and survival after lung transplantation. A satisfactory clinical response to specific therapy for pulmonary arterial hypertension was defined by achieving New York Heart Association functional class I or II, a 6-min walk distance of more than 440 m, and a cardiac index greater than 2·5 L/min per m
FINDINGS: We obtained data from Jan 1, 2003, to June 1, 2016, and identified 94 patients with sporadic or heritable PVOD/PCH (confirmed or highly probable). 27 (29%) of these patients had bi-allelic EIF2AK4 mutations. PVOD/PCH due to EIF2AK4 mutations occurred from birth to age 50 years, and these patients were younger at presentation than non-carriers (median 26·0 years [range 0-50.3] vs 60·0 years [6·7-81·4] years; p<0·0001). At diagnosis, both mutations carriers and non-carriers had similarly severe precapillary pulmonary hypertension and functional impairment. 22 (81%) of mutations carriers and 63 (94%) of non-carriers received therapy approved for pulmonary arterial hypertension. Drug-induced pulmonary oedema occurred in five (23%) of treated EIF2AK4 mutations carriers and 13 (21%) of treated non-carriers. Follow-up assessment after initiation of treatment showed that only three (4%) patients with PVOD/PCH reached the predefined criteria for satisfactory clinical response. The probabilities of event-free survival (death or transplantation) at 1 and 3 years were 63% and 32% in EIF2AK4 mutations carriers, and 75% and 34% in non-carriers. No significant differences occurred in event-free survival between the 2 groups (p=0·38). Among the 33 patients who had lung transplantation, estimated post-transplantation survival rates at 1, 2, and 5 years were 84%, 81%, and 73%, respectively.
INTERPRETATION: Heritable PVOD/PCH due to bi-allelic EIF2AK4 mutations is characterised by a younger age at diagnosis but these patients display similar disease severity compared with mutation non-carriers. Response to therapy approved for pulmonary arterial hypertension in PVOD/PCH is rare. PVOD/PCH is a devastating condition and lung transplantation should be considered for eligible patients.

Wang K, Sun X, Feng HL, et al.
DNALK2 inhibits the proliferation and invasiveness of breast cancer MDA-MB-231 cells through the Smad-dependent pathway.
Oncol Rep. 2017; 37(2):879-886 [PubMed] Related Publications
Breast cancer is one of the most common malignant neoplasms diagnosed in females worldwide. Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs), which belong to the TGF-β superfamily, regulate a wide range of cellular responses including cell proliferation, differentiation, adhesion, migration and apoptosis in breast cancer. BMPs can bind to type I and II serine/threonine kinase receptors to regulate cell proliferation, invasion, migration, and apoptosis. Type I receptors are expressed in various breast cancer cell lines and primary tumor samples. Activin‑like kinase 2 (ALK2) is generally expressed in breast cancer cells (MDA-MB-231, MCF7, SK-BR-3 and MDA-MB‑468); however, the effect of ALK2 on the proliferation and metastasis of breast cancer cells remains unknown. We used a dominant-negative mutant of ALK2 to research the function of ALK2. We aimed to ascertain whether dominant-negative mutant ALK2 adenovirus vector (DNALK2) receptors can compete with wild-type ALK2 receptors. The present study showed that DNALK2 inhibited the growth, migration and metastasis of breast cancer cells by inhibiting the SMAD-dependent pathway and downregulating connective tissue growth factor and inhibitor of differentiation 1 expression, in vivo and in vitro. These observations indicate that ALK2 is a potential therapeutic agent for the treatment of breast cancer.

Slattery ML, Trivellas A, Pellatt AJ, et al.
Genetic variants in the TGFβ-signaling pathway influence expression of miRNAs in colon and rectal normal mucosa and tumor tissue.
Oncotarget. 2017; 8(10):16765-16783 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The TGF-β signaling pathway is involved in regulation of cell growth, angiogenesis, and metastasis. We test the hypothesis that genetic variation in the TGF-β signaling pathway alters miRNA expression.We use data from 1188 colorectal cancer cases to evaluate associations between 80 SNPs in 21 genes.Seven variants eIF4E rs12498533, NFκB1 rs230510, TGFB1 rs4803455, TGFBR1 rs1571590 and rs6478974, SMAD3 rs3743343, and RUNX1 rs8134179 were associated with expression level of miRNAs in normal colorectal mucosa. RUNX2 rs12333172 and BMPR1B rs13134042 were associated with miRNAs in normal colon mucosa; eIF4EBP3 rs250425, SMAD3 rs12904944, SMAD7 rs3736242, and PTEN rs532678 were associated with miRNA expression in normal rectal mucosa. Evaluation of the differential expression between carcinoma and normal mucosa showed that SMAD3 rs12708491 and rs2414937, NFκB1 rs230510 and rs3821958, and RUNX3 rs6672420 were associated with several miRNAs for colorectal carcinoma. Evaluation of site-specific differential miRNA expression showed that BMPR1B rs2120834, BMPR2 rs2228545, and eIF4EBP3 rs250425 were associated with differential miRNA expression in colon tissue and SMAD3 rs12901071, rs1498506, and rs2414937, BMPR2 rs2228545, and RUNX2 rs2819854, altered differential miRNA expression in rectal tissue.These data support the importance of the TGF-β signaling pathway to the carcinogenic process, possibly through their influence on miRNA expression levels.

Cui X, Yang Y, Jia D, et al.
Downregulation of bone morphogenetic protein receptor 2 promotes the development of neuroblastoma.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2017; 483(1):609-616 [PubMed] Related Publications
Neuroblastoma (NB) is the most common extracranial solid tumor of childhood. In this study, we examined the expression of bone morphogenetic protein receptor 2 (BMPR2) in primary NB and adjacent non-tumor samples (adrenal gland). BMPR2 expression was significantly downregulated in NB tissues, particularly in high-grade NB, and was inversely related to the expression of the NB differentiation markers ferritin and enolase. The significance of the downregulation was further explored in cultured NB cells. While enforced expression of BMPR2 decreased cell proliferation and colony-forming activity, shRNA-mediated knockdown of BMPR2 led to increased cell growth and clonogenicity. In mice, NB cells harboring BMPR2 shRNA showed significantly increased tumorigenicity compared with control cells. We also performed a retrospective analysis of NB patients and identified a significant positive correlation between tumor BMPR2 expression and overall survival. These findings suggest that BMPR2 may play an important role in the development of NB.

Hu M, Cui F, Liu F, et al.
BMP signaling pathways affect differently migration and invasion of esophageal squamous cancer cells.
Int J Oncol. 2017; 50(1):193-202 [PubMed] Related Publications
Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) are broadly involved in normal embryo development and abnormal pathological process such as cancer. The complexity and diversity of BMPs and their signaling pathways impose quite different or even conflicting effects on clinical traits of tumors. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether different BMPs, including BMP2, BMP4, BMP6 and BMP7, influence esophageal squamous cancer cell (ESCC) growth, invasion and metastasis. BMP6 and type I receptor ALK2 and type II receptor BMPRII, ActRIIA and ActRIIB were expressed in all ESCC cell lines. In addition, adenovirus-mediated BMP overexpression did not affect ECA-109 cell growth. BMP6/7 overexpression increased ECA-109 cell invasion and metastasis, activated SMAD1/5/8 signal pathway and induced downstream gene ID1 expression. While BMP2/4 overexpression reduced ECA-109 cell invasion and metastasis and obviously promoted ERK1/2, P-38 and JNK activation with weak SMAD1/5/8 phosphorylation. When BMP6/7 favorite type I receptor ALK2 or type II receptor BMPRII was interfered with by dominant-negative mutation, BMP6/7-induced invasion and metastasis augmentation disappeared. Further investigation on clinical ESCC samples and non-tumorous adjacent tissue found that tumors with triple-positive BMP6, ALK2 and BMPRII had deeper growth than tumors with only BMP6 expression. These results suggested that different BMPs distinctly affected esophageal squamous cancer cell invasion and metastasis by employing different signal pathways.

Cassar L, Nicholls C, Pinto AR, et al.
TGF-beta receptor mediated telomerase inhibition, telomere shortening and breast cancer cell senescence.
Protein Cell. 2017; 8(1):39-54 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) plays a central role in telomere lengthening for continuous cell proliferation, but it remains unclear how extracellular cues regulate telomerase lengthening of telomeres. Here we report that the cytokine bone morphogenetic protein-7 (BMP7) induces the hTERT gene repression in a BMPRII receptor- and Smad3-dependent manner in human breast cancer cells. Chonic exposure of human breast cancer cells to BMP7 results in short telomeres, cell senescence and apoptosis. Mutation of the BMPRII receptor, but not TGFbRII, ACTRIIA or ACTRIIB receptor, inhibits BMP7-induced repression of the hTERT gene promoter activity, leading to increased telomerase activity, lengthened telomeres and continued cell proliferation. Expression of hTERT prevents BMP7-induced breast cancer cell senescence and apoptosis. Thus, our data suggest that BMP7 induces breast cancer cell aging by a mechanism involving BMPRII receptor- and Smad3-mediated repression of the hTERT gene.

Zhang L, Wang P, Qin Y, et al.
RN1, a novel galectin-3 inhibitor, inhibits pancreatic cancer cell growth in vitro and in vivo via blocking galectin-3 associated signaling pathways.
Oncogene. 2017; 36(9):1297-1308 [PubMed] Related Publications
Galectin-3 (Gal-3) has been implicated in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), and its candidacy as a therapeutic target has been evaluated. Gal-3 is widely upregulated in tumors, and its expression is associated with the development and malignancy of PDAC. In the present study, we demonstrate that a polysaccharide, RN1, purified from the flower of Panax notoginseng binds to Gal-3 and suppresses its expression. In addition, RN1 markedly inhibits PDAC cells growth in vitro, in vivo and in patient-derived xenografts. Mechanistically, RN1 binds to epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and Gal-3, thereby disrupting the interaction between Gal-3 and EGFR and downregulating extracellular-related kinase (ERK) phosphorylation and the transcription factor of Gal-3, Runx1 expression. Inhibiting the expression of Runx1 by RN1, suppresses Gal-3 expression and inactivates Gal-3-associated signaling pathways, including the EGFR/ERK/Runx1, BMP/smad/Id-3 and integrin/FAK/JNK signaling pathways. In addition, RN1 can also bind to bone morphogenetic protein receptors (BMPR1A and BMPR2) and block the interaction between Gal-3 and the BMPRs. Thus, our results suggest that a novel Gal-3 inhibitor RN1 may be a potential candidate for human PDAC treatment via multiple targets and multiple signaling pathways.

Li W, Salmon RM, Jiang H, Morrell NW
Regulation of the ALK1 ligands, BMP9 and BMP10.
Biochem Soc Trans. 2016; 44(4):1135-41 [PubMed] Related Publications
Bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)9 and BMP10 are high affinity ligands for activin receptor-like kinase 1 (ALK1), a type I BMP receptor mainly expressed on vascular endothelial cells (ECs). ALK1-mediated BMP9/BMP10 signalling pathways have emerged as essential in EC biology and in angiogenesis. Several genetic mutations in the genes encoding the ligands and receptors of this pathway have been reported in two cardiovascular diseases, pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) and hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT). Administration of recombinant BMP9 reverses experimental PAH in preclinical rodent models. Dalantercept, an Fc-fusion protein of the extracellular domain of ALK1 and a ligand trap for BMP9 and BMP10, is in phase II clinical trials for anti-tumour angiogenesis. Understanding the regulation of BMP9 and BMP10, at both gene and protein levels, under physiological and pathological conditions, will reveal essential information and potential novel prognostic markers for the BMP9/BMP10-targeted therapies.

Ahsan S, Ge Y, Tainsky MA
Combinatorial therapeutic targeting of BMP2 and MEK-ERK pathways in NF1-associated malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(35):57171-57185 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The clinical management of malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNSTs) is challenging not only due to its aggressive and invasive nature, but also limited therapeutic options. Using gene expression profiling, our lab identified BMP2-SMAD1/5/8 pathway as a potential therapeutic target for treating MPNSTs. In this study, we explored the therapeutic impact of targeting BMP2-SMAD1/5/8 pathway in conjunction with RAS-MEK-ERK signaling, which is constitutively activated in MPNSTs. Our results indicated that single agent treatment with LDN-193189, a BMP2 Type I receptor inhibitor, did not affect the growth and survival of MPNST cells at biochemically relevant inhibitory concentrations. However, addition of a MEK1/2 inhibitor, selumetinib, to LDN-193189-treated cells resulted in significant inhibition of cell growth and induction of cell death. LDN-193189 at biochemically effective concentrations significantly inhibited motility and invasiveness of MPNST cells, and these effects were enhanced by the addition of selumetinib. Overall, our results advocate for a combinatorial therapeutic approach for MPNSTs that not only targets the growth and survival via inhibition of MEK1/2, but also its malignant spread by suppressing the activation of BMP2-SMAD1/5/8 pathway. Importantly, these studies were conducted in low-passage patient-derived MPNST cells, allowing for an investigation of the effects of the proposed drug treatments in a biologically-relevant context.

Komatsubara M, Hara T, Hosoya T, et al.
Melatonin regulates catecholamine biosynthesis by modulating bone morphogenetic protein and glucocorticoid actions.
J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2017; 165(Pt B):182-189 [PubMed] Related Publications
Melatonin is functionally involved in the control of circadian rhythm and hormonal secretion. In the present study, we investigated the roles of melatonin in the interaction of catecholamine synthesis with adrenocortical steroids by focusing on bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)-4 expressed in the adrenal medulla using rat pheochromocytoma PC12 cells. Melatonin treatment significantly reduced the mRNA expression of catecholamine synthases, including the rate-limiting enzyme tyrosine hydroxylase (Th), 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine decarboxylase and dopamine-β-hydroxylase expressed in PC12 cells. In accordance with changes in the expression levels of enzymes, dopamine production and cAMP synthesis determined in the culture medium and cell lysate were also suppressed by melatonin. The MT1 receptor, but not the MT2 receptor, was expressed in PC12 cells, and luzindole treatment reversed the inhibitory effect of melatonin on Th expression, suggesting that MT1 is a functional receptor for the control of catecholamine synthesis. Interestingly, melatonin enhanced the inhibitory effect of BMP-4 on Th mRNA expression in PC12 cells. Melatonin treatment accelerated BMP-4-induced phosphorylation of SMAD1/5/8 and transcription of the BMP target gene Id1. Of note, melatonin significantly upregulated Alk2 and Bmpr2 mRNA levels but suppressed inhibitory Smad6/7 expression, leading to the enhancement of SMAD1/5/8 signaling in PC12 cells, while BMP-4 did not affect Mt1 expression. Regarding the interaction with adrenocortical steroids, melatonin preferentially enhanced glucocorticoid-induced Th mRNA through upregulation of the glucocorticoid receptor and downregulation of Bmp4 expression, whereas melatonin repressed Th mRNA expression induced by aldosterone or androgen without affecting expression levels of the receptors for mineralocorticoid and androgen. Collectively, the results indicate that melatonin plays a modulatory role in catecholamine synthesis by cooperating with BMP-4 and glucocorticoid in the adrenal medulla.

Katagiri T, Watabe T
Bone Morphogenetic Proteins.
Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2016; 8(6) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs), originally identified as osteoinductive components in extracts derived from bone, are now known to play important roles in a wide array of processes during formation and maintenance of various organs including bone, cartilage, muscle, kidney, and blood vessels. BMPs and the related "growth and differentiation factors" (GDFs) are members of the transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) family, and transduce their signals through type I and type II serine-threonine kinase receptors and their intracellular downstream effectors, including Smad proteins. Furthermore, BMP signals are finely tuned by various agonists and antagonists. Because deregulation of the BMP activity at multiple steps in signal transduction is linked to a wide variety of human diseases, therapeutic use of activators and inhibitors of BMP signaling will provide potential avenues for the treatment of the human disorders that are caused by hypo- and hyperactivation of BMP signals, respectively.

Wang X, Solban N, Khanna P, et al.
Inhibition of ALK1 signaling with dalantercept combined with VEGFR TKI leads to tumor stasis in renal cell carcinoma.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(27):41857-41869 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC) with agents that block signaling through vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2) induces disease regression or stabilization in some patients; however, these responses tend to be short-lived. Therefore, development of combination therapies that can extend the efficacy of VEGFR antagonists in mRCC remains a priority.We studied murine xenograft models of RCC that become refractory to treatment with the VEGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) sunitinib. Dalantercept is a novel antagonist of Activin receptor-like kinase 1 (ALK1)/Bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) 9 signaling. Dalantercept inhibited growth in the murine A498 xenograft model which correlated with hyperdilation of the tumor vasculature and an increase in tumor hypoxia. When combined with sunitinib, dalantercept induced tumor necrosis and prevented tumor regrowth and revascularization typically seen with sunitinib monotherapy in two RCC models. Combination therapy led to significant downregulation of angiogenic genes as well as downregulation of endothelial specific gene expression particularly of the Notch signaling pathway. We demonstrate that simultaneous targeting of molecules that control distinct phases of angiogenesis, such as ALK1 and VEGFR, is a valid strategy for treatment of mRCC. At the molecular level, combination therapy leads to downregulation of Notch signaling.

Huo Y, Su T, Cai Q, Macara IG
An In Vivo Gain-of-Function Screen Identifies the Williams-Beuren Syndrome Gene GTF2IRD1 as a Mammary Tumor Promoter.
Cell Rep. 2016; 15(10):2089-2096 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The broad implementation of precision medicine in cancer is impeded by the lack of a complete inventory of the genes involved in tumorigenesis. We performed in vivo screening of ∼1,000 genes that are associated with signaling for positive roles in breast cancer, using lentiviral expression vectors in primary MMTV-ErbB2 mammary tissue. Gain of function of five genes, including RET, GTF2IRD1, ADORA1, LARS2, and DPP8, significantly promoted mammary tumor growth. We further studied one tumor-promoting gene, the transcription factor GTF2IRD1. The mis-regulation of genes downstream of GTF2IRD1, including TβR2 and BMPR1b, also individually promoted mammary cancer development, and silencing of TβR2 suppressed GTF2IRD1-driven tumor promotion. In addition, GTF2IRD1 is highly expressed in human breast tumors, correlating with high tumor grades and poor prognosis. Our in vivo approach is readily expandable to whole-genome annotation of tumor-promoting genes.

Park SK, Song CS, Yang HJ, et al.
Field Cancerization in Sporadic Colon Cancer.
Gut Liver. 2016; 10(5):773-80 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIMS: Aberrant DNA methylation has a specific role in field cancerization. Certain molecular markers, including secreted frizzled-related protein 2 (SFRP2), tissue factor pathway inhibitor 2 (TFPI2 ), N-Myc downstream-regulated gene 4 (NDRG4) and bone morphogenic protein 3 (BMP3), have previously been shown to be hypermethylated in colorectal cancer (CRC). We aim to examine field cancerization in CRC based on the presence of aberrant DNA methylation in normal-appearing tissue from CRC patients.
METHODS: We investigated promoter methylation in 34 CRC patients and five individuals with normal colonoscopy results. CRC patients were divided into three tissue groups: tumor tissue, adjacent and nonadjacent normal-appearing tissue. The methylation status (positive: methylation level >20%) of SFRP2 , TFPI2 , NDRG4 , and BMP3 promoters was investigated using methylation-specific PCR.
RESULTS: The methylation frequencies of the SFRP2 , TFPI2 , NDRG4 and BMP3 promoters in tumor/adjacent/nonadjacent normal-appearing tissue were 79.4%/63.0%/70.4%, 82.4%/53.6%/60.7%, 76.5%/61.5%/69.2%, 41.2%/35.7%/50.0%, respectively. The methylation levels of the SFRP, TFPI2, NDRG4 and BMP3 promoters in tumor tissues were significantly higher than those in normal-appearing tissue (SFRP2, p=0.013; TFPI2, p<0.001; NDRG4, p=0.003; BMP3, p=0.001). No significant correlation was observed between the methylation levels of the promoters and the clinicopathological variables.
CONCLUSIONS: The field effect is present in CRC and affects both the adjacent and nonadjacent normal-appearing mucosa.

Aykul S, Martinez-Hackert E
New Ligand Binding Function of Human Cerberus and Role of Proteolytic Processing in Regulating Ligand-Receptor Interactions and Antagonist Activity.
J Mol Biol. 2016; 428(3):590-602 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cerberus is a key regulator of vertebrate embryogenesis. Its biological function has been studied extensively in frog and mouse embryos. Its ability to bind and antagonize the transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) family ligand Nodal is well established. Strikingly, the molecular function of Cerberus remains poorly understood. The underlying reason is that Cerberus is a complex, multifunctional protein: It binds and inhibits multiple TGF-β family ligands, it may bind and inhibit some Wnt family members, and two different forms with distinct activities have been described. In addition, sequence homology between frog and mammalian Cerberus is low, suggesting that previous studies, which analyzed frog Cerberus function, may not accurately describe the function of mammalian Cerberus. We therefore undertook to determine the molecular activities of human Cerberus in TGF-β family signaling. Using purified proteins, surface plasmon resonance, and reporter gene assays, we discovered that human Cerberus bound and inhibited the TGF-β family ligands Activin B, BMP-6, and BMP-7, but not the frog Cerberus ligand BMP-2. Notably, full-length Cerberus successfully blocked ligand binding to type II receptors, but the short form was less effective. In addition, full-length Cerberus suppressed breast cancer cell migration but the short form did not. Thus, our findings expand the roles of Cerberus as TGF-β family signaling inhibitor, provide a molecular rationale for the function of the N-terminal region, and support the idea that Cerberus could have regulatory activities beyond direct inhibition of TGF-β family signaling.

Yoon JH, Choi SS, Kim O, et al.
Inactivation of NKX6.3 in the stomach leads to abnormal expression of CDX2 and SOX2 required for gastric-to-intestinal transdifferentiation.
Mod Pathol. 2016; 29(2):194-208 [PubMed] Related Publications
Intestinal metaplasia in gastric mucosa is considered a preneoplastic lesion that progresses to gastric cancer. However, the molecular networks underlying this lesion formation are largely unknown. NKX6.3 is known to be an important regulator in gastric mucosal epithelial differentiation. In this study, we characterized the effects of NKX6.3 that may contribute to gastric intestinal metaplasia. NKX6.3 expression was significantly reduced in gastric mucosae with intestinal metaplasia. The mRNA expression levels of both NKX6.3 and CDX2 predicted the intestinal metaplasia risk, with an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve value of 0.9414 and 0.9971, respectively. Notably, the NKX6.3 expression level was positively and inversely correlated with SOX2 and CDX2, respectively. In stable AGS(NKX6.3) and MKN1(NKX6.3) cells, NKX6.3 regulated the expression of CDX2 and SOX2 by directly binding to the promoter regions of both genes. Nuclear NKX6.3 expression was detected only in gastric epithelial cells without intestinal metaplasia. Furthermore, NKX6.3-induced TWSG1 bound to BMP4 and inhibited BMP4-binding activity to BMPR-II. These data suggest that NKX6.3 might function as a master regulator of gastric differentiation by affecting SOX2 and CDX2 expression and the NKX6.3 inactivation may result in intestinal metaplasia in gastric epithelial cells.

Pousada G, Baloira A, Valverde D
Methylation Analysis of the BMPR2 Gene Promoter Region in Patients With Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension.
Arch Bronconeumol. 2016; 52(6):293-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Pulmonary arterial hypertension is characterizated by obstruction of the pulmonary arteries. The gene mainly related to pathology is the bone morphogenetic protein receptor type II (BMPR2). The aim of this study was to analyze the methylation pattern of the BMPR2 promoter region in patients and controls.
METHODS: We used Methyl Primer Express(®) v.1.0 and MatInspector softwares to analyze this region. Genomic DNA obtained from the peripheral blood of patients and controls was modified with sodium bisulphite. Methylation was analyzed using methylation-specific PCR. DNA treated with CpG methyltransferase was used as a positive control for methylation and H1299 cell culture DNA was used as positive control for gene expression.
RESULTS: We identified a CpG island, which may have been methylated, in the BMPR2 promoter region, in addition to NIT-2 (global-acting regulatory protein), sex-determining region Y) and heat shock factor transcription factor binding sites. We found no evidence of methylation in patients and controls. No methylated CpG sites were identified in H1299 cells expressing the BMPR2 gene.
CONCLUSIONS: The BMPR2 promoter region is the most suitable for study because of the high number of transcription factor binding sites that could alter gene function. No evidence of methylation was detected in this region in patients and controls.

Sato A, Ochi H, Harada Y, et al.
Bone morphogenetic protein 4 and bone morphogenetic protein receptor expression in the pituitary gland of adult dogs in healthy condition and with ACTH-secreting pituitary adenoma.
Domest Anim Endocrinol. 2017; 58:126-133 [PubMed] Related Publications
The purpose of this study was to investigate the expression of bone morphogenetic protein 4 (BMP4) and its receptors, bone morphogenetic protein receptor I (BMPRI) and BMPRII, in the pituitary gland of healthy adult dogs and in those with ACTH-secreting pituitary adenoma. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis showed that the BMP4 messenger RNA expression level in the ACTH-secreting pituitary adenoma samples was significantly lower than that in the normal pituitary gland samples (P = 0.03). However, there were no statistically significant differences between samples with respect to the messenger RNA expression levels of the receptors BMPRIA, BMPRIB, and BMPRII. Double-immunofluorescence analysis of the normal canine pituitary showed that BMP4 was localized in the thyrotroph (51.3 ± 7.3%) and not the corticotroph cells. By contrast, BMPRII was widely expressed in the thyrotroph (19.9 ± 5.2%) and somatotroph cells (94.7 ± 3.6%) but not in the corticotroph cells (P < 0.001, thyrotroph cells vs somatotroph cells). Similarly, in ACTH-secreting pituitary adenoma, BMP4 and BMPRII were not expressed in the corticotroph cells. Moreover, the percentage of BMP4-positive cells was also significantly reduced in the thyrotroph cells of the surrounding normal pituitary tissue obtained from the resected ACTH-secreting pituitary adenoma (8.3 ± 7.9%) compared with that in normal canine pituitary (P < 0.001). BMP4 has been reported to be expressed in corticotroph cells in the human pituitary gland. Therefore, the results of this study reveal a difference in the cellular pattern of BMP4-positive staining in the pituitary gland between humans and dogs and further revealed the pattern of BMPRII-positive staining in the dog pituitary gland. These species-specific differences regarding BMP4 should be considered when using dogs as an animal model for Cushing's disease.

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