Gene Summary

Gene:BMPR2; bone morphogenetic protein receptor, type II (serine/threonine kinase)
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, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:bone morphogenetic protein receptor type-2
Source:NCBIAccessed: 25 June, 2015


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 (1990-2015)
Graph generated 25 June 2015 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.

  • Mutation
  • Chromosome 2
  • Transcription Factor RelA
  • Sequence Homology
  • Cell Cycle
  • Transfection
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Signal Transduction
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Gene Expression
  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein Receptors, Type II
  • Receptors, Growth Factor
  • Apoptosis
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Smad Proteins
  • Breast Cancer
  • Western Blotting
  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein 4
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Activin Receptors, Type I
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Xenograft Models
  • Neurofibromatosis 1
  • Cultured Cells
  • Transcriptional Activation
  • Young Adult
  • Messenger RNA
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein 2
  • Cell Surface Receptors
  • SMAD4
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Bladder Cancer
  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein 7
  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein Receptors, Type I
  • Activin Receptors, Type II
  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta Receptors
Tag cloud generated 25 June, 2015 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: BMPR2 (cancer-related)

Chubb D, Broderick P, Frampton M, et al.
Genetic diagnosis of high-penetrance susceptibility for colorectal cancer (CRC) is achievable for a high proportion of familial CRC by exome sequencing.
J Clin Oncol. 2015; 33(5):426-32 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Knowledge of the contribution of high-penetrance susceptibility to familial colorectal cancer (CRC) is relevant to the counseling, treatment, and surveillance of CRC patients and families.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: To quantify the impact of germline mutation to familial CRC, we sequenced the mismatch repair genes (MMR) APC, MUTYH, and SMAD4/BMPR1A in 626 early-onset familial CRC cases ascertained through a population-based United Kingdom national registry. In addition, we evaluated the contribution of mutations in the exonuclease domain (exodom) of POLE and POLD1 genes that have recently been reported to confer CRC risk.
RESULTS: Overall mutations (pathogenic, likely pathogenic) in MMR genes make the highest contribution to familial CRC (10.9%). Mutations in the other established CRC genes account for 3.3% of cases. POLE/POLD1 exodom mutations were identified in three patients with family histories consistent with dominant transmission of CRC. Collectively, mutations in the known genes account for 14.2% of familial CRC (89 of 626 cases; 95% CI = 11.5, 17.2).
CONCLUSION: A genetic diagnosis is feasible in a high proportion of familial CRC. Mainstreaming such analysis in clinical practice should enable the medical management of patients and their families to be optimized. Findings suggest CRC screening of POLE and POLD1 mutation carriers should be comparable to that afforded to those at risk of HNPCC. Although the risk of CRC associated with unexplained familial CRC is in general moderate, in some families the risk is substantive and likely to be the consequence of unidentified genes, as exemplified by POLE and POLD1. Our findings have utility in the design of genetic analyses to identify such novel CRC risk genes.

Zhao M, Austin ED, Hemnes AR, et al.
An evidence-based knowledgebase of pulmonary arterial hypertension to identify genes and pathways relevant to pathogenesis.
Mol Biosyst. 2014; 10(4):732-40 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a major progressive form of pulmonary hypertension (PH) with more than 4800 patients in the United States. In the last two decades, many studies have identified numerous genes associated with this disease. However, there is no comprehensive research resource for PAH or other PH types that integrates various genetic studies and their related biological information. Thus, the number of associated genes, and their strength of evidence, is unclear. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that a web-based knowledgebase could be used to develop a biological map of highly interrelated, functionally important genes in PAH. We developed the pulmonary arterial hypertension knowledgebase (PAHKB, ), a comprehensive database with a user-friendly web interface. PAHKB extracts genetic data from all available sources, including those from association studies, genetic mutation, gene expression, animal model, supporting literature, various genomic annotations, gene networks, cellular and regulatory pathways, as well as microRNAs. Moreover, PAHKB provides online tools for data browsing and searching, data integration, pathway graphical presentation, and gene ranking. In the current release, PAHKB contains 341 human PH-related genes (293 protein coding and 48 non-coding genes) curated from over 1000 PubMed abstracts. Based on the top 39 ranked PAH-related genes in PAHKB, we constructed a core biological map. This core map was enriched with the TGF-beta signaling pathway, focal adhesion, cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction, and MAPK signaling. In addition, the reconstructed map elucidates several novel cancer signaling pathways, which may provide clues to support the application of anti-cancer therapeutics to PAH. In summary, we have developed a system for the identification of core PH-related genes and identified critical signaling pathways that may be relevant to PAH pathogenesis. This system can be easily applied to other pulmonary diseases.

Guignabert C, Tu L, Le Hiress M, et al.
Pathogenesis of pulmonary arterial hypertension: lessons from cancer.
Eur Respir Rev. 2013; 22(130):543-51 [PubMed] Related Publications
Although the causal pathomechanisms contributing to remodelling of the pulmonary vascular bed in pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) are still unclear, several analogous features with carcinogenesis have led to the emergence of the cancer-like concept. The major similarities concern the altered crosstalk between cells from different tissue types, unexplained proliferation and survival of pulmonary smooth muscle and endothelial cells, the metabolic (glycolytic) shifts, and the association with the immune system. However, major differences between PAH and cancer exist, including the absence of invasion and metastasis, as well as the pathogenic genes involved and the degrees of angiogenesis impairment and genetic instability. It is clear that PAH is not a cancer, but this cancer-like concept has opened a new field of investigation and raises the possibility that antiproliferative and/or oncological drugs may exert therapeutic effects not only in cancer, but also in PAH. Such analogies and differences are discussed here.

Garulli C, Kalogris C, Pietrella L, et al.
Dorsomorphin reverses the mesenchymal phenotype of breast cancer initiating cells by inhibition of bone morphogenetic protein signaling.
Cell Signal. 2014; 26(2):352-62 [PubMed] Related Publications
Increasing evidence supports the theory that tumor growth, homeostasis, and recurrence are dependent on a small subset of cells with stem cell properties, redefined cancer initiating cells (CICs) or cancer stem cells. Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) are involved in cell-fate specification during embryogenesis, in the maintenance of developmental potency in adult stem cells and may contribute to sustain CIC populations in breast carcinoma. Using the mouse A17 cell model previously related to mesenchymal cancer stem cells and displaying properties of CICs, we investigated the role of BMPs in the control of breast cancer cell plasticity. We showed that an autocrine activation of BMP signaling is crucial for the maintenance of mesenchymal stem cell phenotype and tumorigenic potential of A17 cells. Pharmacological inhibition of BMP signaling cascade by Dorsomorphin resulted in the acquisition of epithelial-like traits by A17 cells, including expression of Citokeratin-18 and E-cadherin, through downregulation of Snail and Slug transcriptional factors and Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX2) expression, and in the loss of their stem-features and self-renewal ability. This phenotypic switch compromised A17 cell motility, invasiveness and in vitro tumor growth. These results reveal that BMPs are key molecules at the crossroad between stemness and cancer.

Li W, Zhu W, Che J, et al.
Microarray profiling of human renal cell carcinoma: identification for potential biomarkers and critical pathways.
Kidney Blood Press Res. 2013; 37(4-5):506-13 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIMS: The aim of this study was to screen several novel genes associated with renal cell carcinoma (RCC), and analyze the gene functions and signal pathways which were critical to RCCs with DNA microarray.
METHODS: The gene expression profile of GSE781 was downloaded from Gene Expression Omnibus database, including 9 RCC samples and 9 healthy controls. Compared with the control samples, differentially expressed genes (DEGs) of RCC was identified the by packages in R. The selected DEGs were further analyzed using bioinformatics methods. Gene ontology (GO) enrichment analysis was performed using Gene Set Analysis Toolkit and protein-protein interaction (PPI) network was constructed with prePPI. Then, pathway enrichment analysis to PPI network was performed using WebGestalt software.
RESULTS: A total of 429 DEGs were down-regulated and 418 DEGs were up-regulated in RCC samples compared to healthy controls. A total of 11 remarkable enhanced functions and 13 suppressed functions were identified. PPI nodes of high degrees, such as JAK2, IL8, BMPR2, FN1 and NCR1, were obtained. The DEGs were classified and significantly enriched in cytokine and cytokine receptor pathway.
CONCLUSION: The hub genes we find from RCC samples are not only bio-markers, but also may provide the groundwork for a combination therapy approach for RCCs.

Herrera B, García-Álvaro M, Cruz S, et al.
BMP9 is a proliferative and survival factor for human hepatocellular carcinoma cells.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(7):e69535 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
TGF-β family members play a relevant role in tumorigenic processes, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), but a specific implication of the Bone Morphogenetic Protein (BMP) subfamily is still unknown. Although originally isolated from fetal liver, little is known about BMP9, a BMP family member, and its role in liver physiology and pathology. Our results show that BMP9 promotes growth in HCC cells, but not in immortalized human hepatocytes. In the liver cancer cell line HepG2, BMP9 triggers Smad1,5,8 phosphorylation and inhibitor of DNA binding 1 (Id1) expression up- regulation. Importantly, by using chemical inhibitors, ligand trap and gene silencing approaches we demonstrate that HepG2 cells autocrinely produce BMP9 that supports their proliferation and anchorage independent growth. Additionally, our data reveal that in HepG2 cells BMP9 triggers cell cycle progression, and strikingly, completely abolishes the increase in the percentage of apoptotic cells induced by long-term incubation in low serum. Collectively, our data unveil a dual role for BMP9, both promoting a proliferative response and exerting a remarkable anti-apoptotic function in HepG2 cells, which result in a robust BMP9 effect on liver cancer cell growth. Finally, we show that BMP9 expression is increased in 40% of human HCC tissues compared with normal human liver as revealed by immunohistochemistry analysis, suggesting that BMP9 signaling may be relevant during hepatocarcinogenesis in vivo. Our findings provide new clues for a better understanding of BMPs contribution, and in particular BMP9, in HCC pathogenesis that may result in the development of effective and targeted therapeutic interventions.

Wang L, Park P, La Marca F, et al.
Bone formation induced by BMP-2 in human osteosarcoma cells.
Int J Oncol. 2013; 43(4):1095-102 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Our previous studies demonstrated that BMP-2 inhibits the tumorigenicity of cancer stem cells identified as cells with high aldehyde dehydrogenase activity (ALDH(br) cells) from the human osteosarcoma cell line OS99-1. We further investigated whether BMP-2 is capable of inducing bone formation in OS99-1 cells. Flow cytometry sorting was used to isolate tumorigenic ALDH(br) and non-tumorigenic ALDH(lo) cells. qRT-PCR was used to quantify the gene expression. A xenograft model was used to verify the bone formation in vivo. There was significantly higher mRNA expression of BMPR1B and BMPR2 in ALDH(lo) cells compared with that in ALDH(br) cells and the BMPR1B expression in ALDH(lo) cells was ~8-fold higher compared to that in ALDHbr cells. BMP-2 was also found to induce higher transcription of osteogenic markers Runx-2, Osterix (Osx), alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and collagen type I in ALDH(lo) cells compared to ALDH(br) cells, which were mediated by the canonical Smad signaling pathway. In vivo, BMP-2 was identified to induce bone formation in both ALDH(br) and ALDH(lo) cells. All animals receiving 1 x 10()4 ALDH(lo) cells treated with 30 µg of BMP-2 per animal showed bone formation within 1-2 weeks after injection in mice. Bone formation induced by BMP-2 in ALDH(lo) cells showed significantly more bone mineral content compared to that in ALDH(br) cells. BMP-2 induces bone formation in heterogeneous osteosarcoma cells and BMP-2 may have a promising therapeutic role for treating human osteosarcoma by inducing differentiation along an osteogenic pathway.

Shen Z, Seppänen H, Kauttu T, et al.
Vasohibin-1 expression is regulated by transforming growth factor-β/bone morphogenic protein signaling pathway between tumor-associated macrophages and pancreatic cancer cells.
J Interferon Cytokine Res. 2013; 33(8):428-33 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Vasohibin-1 has been detected in endothelial cells as an intrinsic angiogenesis inhibitor. Both tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) and transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β)/bone morphogenic protein (BMP) signaling have been reported to promote angiogenesis in cancer. However, whether vasohibin-1 expression is regulated by TGF-β/BMP signaling between TAMs and cancer cells remains unclear. The expression of TGF-β1, TGF-β2, BMP-4, and BMP-7 in TAMs and the expression of vasohibin-1, vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A), and VEGF-C in two pancreatic cancer cell lines (a nonmetastatic cell line Panc-1 and a distant metastatic cell line HPAF-II) were measured by real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The TGF-β receptor 1 and BMP receptor 1 were inhibited by the inhibitor SB-431542 and LDN193189, respectively. Thereafter, vasohibin-1, VEGF-A, and VEGF-C expression was detected by real-time RT-PCR. We found that the expression of TGF-β1, TGF-β2, BMP-4, and BMP-7 was upregulated in TAMs cocultured with pancreatic cancer cells. Vasohibin-1, VEGF-A, and VEGF-C mRNA expression in pancreatic cancer cells was upregulated by TAMs. Vasohibin-1 expression in pancreatic cancer cells cocultured with TAMs was upregulated significantly when TGF-β receptors or BMP receptors were inhibited, but VEGF-C expression was downregulated. Therefore, Vasohibin-1 expression is regulated by the TGF-β/BMP signaling between TAMs and pancreatic cancer cells. These results might shed a new light on the antiangiogenesis therapy in the pancreatic cancer.

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.

de Resende LO, Vireque AA, Santana LF, et al.
Single-cell expression analysis of BMP15 and GDF9 in mature oocytes and BMPR2 in cumulus cells of women with polycystic ovary syndrome undergoing controlled ovarian hyperstimulation.
J Assist Reprod Genet. 2012; 29(10):1057-65 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: To detect expression of bone morphogenetic protein 15 (BMP15) and growth differentiation factor 9 (GDF9) in oocytes, and their receptor type 2 receptor for BMPs (BMPR2) in cumulus cells in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF), and determine if BMPR2, BMP15, and GDF9 expression correlate with hyperandrogenism in FF of PCOS patients.
METHODS: Prospective case-control study. Eighteen MII-oocytes and their respective cumulus cells were obtained from 18 patients with PCOS, and 48 MII-oocytes and cumulus cells (CCs) from 35 controls, both subjected to controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (COH), and follicular fluid (FF) was collected from small (10-14 mm) and large (>18 mm) follicles. RNeasy Micro Kit (Qiagen) was used for RNA extraction and gene expression was quantified in each oocyte individually and in microdissected cumulus cells from cumulus-oocyte complexes retrieved from preovulatory follicles using qRT-PCR. Chemiluminescence and RIA assays were used for hormone assays.
RESULTS: BMP15 and GDF9 expression per oocyte was higher among women with PCOS than the control group. A positive correlation was found between BMPR2 transcripts and hyperandrogenism in FF of PCOS patients. Progesterone values in FF were lower in the PCOS group.
CONCLUSION: We inferred that BMP15 and GDF9 transcript levels increase in mature PCOS oocytes after COH, and might inhibit the progesterone secretion by follicular cells in PCOS follicles, preventing premature luteinization in cumulus cells. BMPR2 expression in PCOS cumulus cells might be regulated by androgens.

Wu S, Lin Y, Xu D, et al.
MiR-135a functions as a selective killer of malignant glioma.
Oncogene. 2012; 31(34):3866-74 [PubMed] Related Publications
Glioma is the most common and fatal primary brain tumor. Thus far, therapeutic strategies to efficiently and specifically antagonize glioma are limited and poorly developed. Here we report that glia-enriched miR-135a, a microRNA that is dramatically downregulated in malignant glioma and correlated with the pathological grading, is capable of inducing mitochondria-dependent apoptosis of malignant glioma by regulating various genes including STAT6, SMAD5 and BMPR2, as well as affecting the signaling pathway downstream. Moreover, this lethal effect is selectively towards malignant glioma cells, but not neurons and glial cells, through a novel mechanism. Our findings suggest an important role of miR-135a in glioma etiology and provide a potential candidate for malignant glioma therapy.

Kobayashi A, Okuda H, Xing F, et al.
Bone morphogenetic protein 7 in dormancy and metastasis of prostate cancer stem-like cells in bone.
J Exp Med. 2011; 208(13):2641-55 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Metastatic disease is the major cause of cancer deaths, and recurrent tumors at distant organs are a critical issue. However, how metastatic tumor cells become dormant and how and why tumors recur in target organs are not well understood. In this study, we demonstrate that BMP7 (bone morphogenetic protein 7) secreted from bone stromal cells induces senescence in prostate cancer stem-like cells (CSCs) by activating p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase and increasing expression of the cell cycle inhibitor, p21, and the metastasis suppressor gene, NDRG1 (N-myc downstream-regulated gene 1). This effect of BMP7 depended on BMPR2 (BMP receptor 2), and BMPR2 expression inversely correlated with recurrence and bone metastasis in prostate cancer patients. Importantly, this BMP7-induced senescence in CSCs was reversible upon withdrawal of BMP7. Furthermore, treatment of mice with BMP7 significantly suppressed the growth of CSCs in bone, whereas the withdrawal of BMP7 restarted growth of these cells. These results suggest that the BMP7-BMPR2-p38-NDRG1 axis plays a critical role in dormancy and recurrence of prostate CSCs in bone and suggest a potential therapeutic utility of BMP7 for recurrent metastatic disease.

Natali D, Girerd B, Montani D, et al.
Pulmonary arterial hypertension in a patient with Cowden syndrome and anorexigen exposure.
Chest. 2011; 140(4):1066-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
We report a case of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) occurring in a patient with Cowden syndrome with a mutation in the phosphatase and tensin (PTEN) tumor suppressor gene, in the context of exposure to the appetite suppressant dexfenfluramine. Anorexigen exposure is known to be a risk factor for PAH. However, the role of PTEN in cell function and the development of pulmonary vascular remodeling and histopathologic signs of PAH in mice with a Pten depletion in smooth muscle cells suggest that the association of PAH and Cowden syndrome may be relevant. In this case report, we hypothesize that PTEN mutations may be a predisposing factor for the development of PAH, with anorexigen exposure as a potential trigger.

Toulouse A, Collins GC, Sullivan AM
Neurotrophic effects of growth/differentiation factor 5 in a neuronal cell line.
Neurotox Res. 2012; 21(3):256-65 [PubMed] Related Publications
The neurotrophin growth/differentiation factor 5 (GDF5) is studied as a potential therapeutic agent for Parkinson's disease as it is believed to play a role in the development and maintenance of the nigrostriatal system. Progress in understanding the effects of GDF5 on dopaminergic neurones has been hindered by the use of mixed cell populations derived from primary cultures or in vivo experiments, making it difficult to differentiate between direct and indirect effects of GDF5 treatment on neurones. In an attempt to establish an useful model to study the direct neuronal influence of GDF5, we have characterised the effects of GDF5 on a human neuronal cell line, SH-SY5Y. Our results show that GDF5 has the capability to promote neuronal but not dopaminergic differentiation. We also show that it promotes neuronal survival in vitro following a 6-hydroxydopamine insult. Our results show that application of GDF5 to SH-SY5Y cultures induces the SMAD pathway which could potentially be implicated in the intracellular transmission of GDF5's neurotrophic effects. Overall, our study shows that the SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cell line provides an excellent neuronal model to study the neurotrophic effects of GDF5.

Bhushan L, Kandpal RP
EphB6 receptor modulates micro RNA profile of breast carcinoma cells.
PLoS One. 2011; 6(7):e22484 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Breast carcinoma cells have a specific pattern of expression for Eph receptors and ephrin ligands. EphB6 has previously been characterized as a signature molecule for invasive breast carcinoma cells. The transcription of EphB6 is silenced in breast carcinoma cells and its re-expression leads to decreased invasiveness of MDA-MB-231 cells. Such differences in phenotypes of native and EphB6 expressing MDA-MB-231 cells relate to an altered profile of micro RNAs. Comparative hybridization of total RNA to slides containing all known miRNAs by using locked nucleic acid (LNA) miRCURY platform yielded a significantly altered profile of miRNAs in MDA-MB-231 cells stably transfected with EphB6. After applying a threshold of change and a p-value of <0.001, the list of significantly altered miRNAs included miR-16, miR-23a, miR-24, miR-26a, miR-29a, miR-100, miRPlus-E1172 and miRPlus-E1258. The array-based changes were validated by real-time qPCR of miR-16, miR-23a, miR-24 and miR-100. Except miRPlus-E1172 and miRPlus-E1258, the remaining six miRNAs have been observed in a variety of cancers. The biological relevance of target mRNAs was predicted by using a common-target selection approach that allowed the identification of SMARCA5, SMARCC1, eIF2C2, eIF2C4, eIF4EBP2, FKABP5, FKBP1A, TRIB1, TRIB2, TRIB3, BMPR2, BMPR1A and BMPR1B as important targets of a subset of significantly altered miRNAs. Quantitative PCR revealed that the levels of SMARCC1, eIFC4, eIF4EB2, FKBP1a, FKBP5, TRIB1, TRIB3, BMPR1a and BMPR2 transcripts were significantly decreased in MDA-MB-231 cells transfected with EphB6. These observations confirm targeting of specific mRNAs by miR-100, miR-23a, miR-16 and miR-24, and suggest that the kinase-deficient EphB6 receptor is capable of initiating signal transduction from the cell surface to the nucleus resulting in the altered expression of a variety of genes involved in tumorigenesis and invasion. The alterations in miRNAs and their target mRNAs also suggest indirect involvement of EphB6 in PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathways.

Jonigk D, Golpon H, Bockmeyer CL, et al.
Plexiform lesions in pulmonary arterial hypertension composition, architecture, and microenvironment.
Am J Pathol. 2011; 179(1):167-79 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a debilitating disease with a high mortality rate. A hallmark of PAH is plexiform lesions (PLs), complex vascular formations originating from remodeled pulmonary arteries. The development and significance of these lesions have been debated and are not yet fully understood. Some features of PLs resemble neoplastic disorders, and there is a striking resemblance to glomeruloid-like lesions (GLLs) in glioblastomas. To further elucidate PLs, we used in situ methods, such as (fluorescent) IHC staining, three-dimensional reconstruction, and laser microdissection, followed by mRNA expression analysis. We generated compartment-specific expression patterns in the lungs of 25 patients (11 with PAH associated with systemic shunts, 6 with idiopathic PAH, and 8 controls) and GLLs from 5 glioblastomas. PLs consisted of vascular channels lined by a continuously proliferating endothelium and backed by a uniform myogenic interstitium. They also showed up-regulation of remodeling-associated genes, such as HIF1a, TGF-β1, VEGF-α, VEGFR-1/-2, Ang-1, Tie-2, and THBS1, but also of cKIT and sprouting-associated markers, such as NOTCH and matrix metalloproteinases. The cellular composition and signaling seen in GLLs in neural neoplasms differed significantly from those in PLs. In conclusion, PLs show a distinct cellular composition and microenvironment, which contribute to the plexiform phenotype and set them apart from other processes of vascular remodeling in patients with PAH. Neoplastic models of angiogenesis seem to be of limited use in further study of plexiform vasculopathy.

Montani D, Coulet F, Girerd B, et al.
Pulmonary hypertension in patients with neurofibromatosis type I.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2011; 90(3):201-11 [PubMed] Related Publications
Neurofibromatosis type I (NF1) is a rare genetic disease caused by mutations in the NF1 gene, which codes for tumor suppressor neurofibromin. NF1 is transmitted as an autosomal dominant and fully penetrant trait with no sex predominance. Precapillary pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a severe complication of NF1, initially described in patients with advanced parenchymal lung disease, which may complicate the course of NF1. We conducted this study to describe clinical, functional, radiologic, and hemodynamic characteristics and outcome of patients with NF1-associated PH. We identified 8 new cases of NF1-associated PH in patients carrying a NF1 gene mutation. No bone morphogenic protein receptor 2 (BMPR2) point mutation or large size rearrangements were identified. Seven female patients and 1 male patient were reported, suggesting a possible female predominance. PH occurred late in the course of the disease (median age, 62 yr; range, 53-68 yr). Dyspnea and signs of right heart failure were the major symptoms leading to the diagnosis of PH. At diagnosis, patients had severe hemodynamic impairment with low cardiac index (median, 2.3 L/min per m2; range, 1.9-4.7) and elevated indexed pulmonary vascular resistance (median, 15.1 mm Hg/L/min per m2; range, 4.5-25.9). All patients were in New York Heart Association functional class III with severe exercise limitation (median 6-min walk distance, 180 m; range, 60-375 m). Most patients had associated parenchymal lung disease, but some had no or mild lung involvement with disproportionate pulmonary vascular disease. Overall, the impact of PH therapy was limited and outcomes were poor. In conclusion, PH represents a rare but severe complication of NF1, characterized by female predominance, late onset in the course of NF1, and severe functional and hemodynamic impairment. Because of poor outcome and limited impact of specific PH therapy, eligible patients require early referral for lung transplantation. Further studies are needed to better understand the pathophysiology and the role, if any, of neurofibromin in NF1-associated PH.

Fu S, Lv HB, Liu Y, et al.
Transfection of truncated bone morphogenetic protein receptor-II into oral squamous cell carcinoma cell line Tca8113 and inhibitory effect on proliferation and inductive effect on apoptosis.
J Oral Pathol Med. 2011; 40(6):490-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs), one of the crucial regulators in embryonic development and bone formation, have been implicated in epithelium-derived tumors. Previous results showed the involvement of overexpression of BMP 2, 4, 5 in the carcinogenesis of oral epithelia. The ability of BMP receptor-II mutant to modify the malignant phenotype of oral squamous cell carcinoma cell line Tca8113 by blocking the BMP signal transduction pathway has been proposed. In this study, a negative truncated mutant of the BMP receptor-II (tBMPR-II) was transfected into Tca8113 cells. The effects were evaluated though RT-PCR, 3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay, BrdU staining, cell cyclin assay, TdT-mediated dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) staining, and cell cycle protein detection. Overexpression of tBMPR-II gene transfection truncates the expression of BMPR-II mRNA expression, but not BMP 2, 4, 5. tBMPR-II resulted in a remarkable inhibition of cell proliferation and viability compared with control Tca8113. The inhibitory effects were partly attributed to the induction of apoptosis and cell cycle arrest in G(0) /G(1) accompanied by downregulation of the intracellular cell cycle proteins of cyclin D1 and cyclin-dependent kinases 4, as well as the upregulation of p27 and p57. Loss of BMP signals correlates tightly with suppression of cell proliferation, induction of apoptosis, and benign transformation of Tca8113 cells phenotype.

Slattery ML, Lundgreen A, Herrick JS, et al.
Genetic variation in bone morphogenetic protein and colon and rectal cancer.
Int J Cancer. 2012; 130(3):653-64 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMP) are part of the TGF-β-signaling pathway; genetic variation in these genes may be involved in colorectal cancer. In this study, we evaluated the association between genetic variation in BMP1 (11 tagSNPs), BMP2 (5 tagSNPs), BMP4 (3 tagSNPs), BMPR1A (9 tagSNPs), BMPR1B (21 tagSNPs), BMPR2 (11 tagSNPs) and GDF10 (7 tagSNPs) with risk of colon and rectal cancer and tumor molecular phenotype. We used data from population-based case-control studies (colon cancer n = 1,574 cases, 1,970 controls; rectal cancer n = 791 cases, 999 controls). We observed that genetic variation in BMPR1A, BMPR1B, BMPR2, BMP2 and BMP4 was associated with risk of developing colon cancer, with 20 to 30% increased risk for most high-risk genotypes. A summary of high-risk genotypes showed over a twofold increase in colon cancer risk at the upper risk category (OR = 2.49 95% CI = 1.95, 3.18). BMPR2, BMPR1B, BMP2 and GDF10 were associated with rectal cancer. BMPR2 rs2228545 was associated with an almost twofold increased risk of rectal cancer. The risk associated with the highest category of the summary score for rectal cancer was 2.97 (95% CI = 1.87, 4.72). Genes in the BMP-signaling pathway were consistently associated with CIMP+ status in combination with both KRAS-mutated and MSI tumors. BMP genes interacted statistically significantly with other genes in the TGF-β-signaling pathway, including TGFβ1, TGFβR1, Smad 3, Smad 4 and Smad 7. Our data support a role for genetic variation in BMP-related genes in the etiology of colon and rectal cancer. One possible mechanism is via the TGF-β-signaling pathway.

Slattery ML, Lundgreen A, Herrick JS, et al.
Genetic variation in the transforming growth factor-β signaling pathway and survival after diagnosis with colon and rectal cancer.
Cancer. 2011; 117(18):4175-83 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) signaling pathway is involved in many aspects of tumorigenesis, including angiogenesis and metastasis. The authors evaluated this pathway in association with survival after a diagnosis of colon or rectal cancer.
METHODS: The study included 1553 patients with colon cancer and 754 patients with rectal cancer who had incident first primary disease and were followed for a minimum of 7 years after diagnosis. Genetic variations were evaluated in the genes TGF-β1 (2 single nucleotide polymorphisms [SNPs]), TGF-β receptor 1 (TGF-βR1) (3 SNPs), smooth muscle actin/mothers against decapentaplegic homolog 1 (Smad1) (5 SNPs), Smad2 (4 SNPs), Smad3 (37 SNPs), Smad4 (2 SNPs), Smad7 (11 SNPs), bone morphogenetic protein 1 (BMP1) (11 SNPs), BMP2 (5 SNPs), BMP4 (3 SNPs), bone morphogenetic protein receptor 1A (BMPR1A) (9 SNPs), BMPR1B (21 SNPs), BMPR2 (11 SNPs), growth differentiation factor 10 (GDF10) (7 SNPs), Runt-related transcription factor 1 (RUNX1) (40 SNPs), RUNX2 (19 SNPs), RUNX3 (9 SNPs), eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E (eiF4E) (3 SNPs), eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E-binding protein 3 (eiF4EBP2) (2 SNPs), eiF4EBP3 (2 SNPs), and mitogen-activated protein kinase 1 (MAPK1) (6 SNPs).
RESULTS: After adjusting for American Joint Committee on Cancer stage and tumor molecular phenotype, 12 genes and 18 SNPs were associated with survival in patients with colon cancer, and 7 genes and 15 tagSNPs were associated with survival after a diagnosis of rectal cancer. A summary score based on "at-risk" genotypes revealed a hazard rate ratio of 5.10 (95% confidence interval, 2.56-10.15) for the group with the greatest number of "at-risk" genotypes; for rectal cancer, the hazard rate ratio was 6.03 (95% confidence interval, 2.83-12.75).
CONCLUSIONS: The current findings suggest that the presence of several higher risk alleles in the TGF-β signaling pathway increase the likelihood of dying after a diagnosis of colon or rectal cancer.

Roberts A, Nancarrow D, Clendenning M, et al.
Linkage to chromosome 2q32.2-q33.3 in familial serrated neoplasia (Jass syndrome).
Fam Cancer. 2011; 10(2):245-54 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Causative genetic variants have to date been identified for only a small proportion of familial colorectal cancer (CRC). While conditions such as Familial Adenomatous Polyposis and Lynch syndrome have well defined genetic causes, the search for variants underlying the remainder of familial CRC is plagued by genetic heterogeneity. The recent identification of families with a heritable predisposition to malignancies arising through the serrated pathway (familial serrated neoplasia or Jass syndrome) provides an opportunity to study a subset of familial CRC in which heterogeneity may be greatly reduced. A genome-wide linkage screen was performed on a large family displaying a dominantly-inherited predisposition to serrated neoplasia genotyped using the Affymetrix GeneChip Human Mapping 10 K SNP Array. Parametric and nonparametric analyses were performed and resulting regions of interest, as well as previously reported CRC susceptibility loci at 3q22, 7q31 and 9q22, were followed up by finemapping in 10 serrated neoplasia families. Genome-wide linkage analysis revealed regions of interest at 2p25.2-p25.1, 2q24.3-q37.1 and 8p21.2-q12.1. Finemapping linkage and haplotype analyses identified 2q32.2-q33.3 as the region most likely to harbour linkage, with heterogeneity logarithm of the odds (HLOD) 2.09 and nonparametric linkage (NPL) score 2.36 (P = 0.004). Five primary candidate genes (CFLAR, CASP10, CASP8, FZD7 and BMPR2) were sequenced and no segregating variants identified. There was no evidence of linkage to previously reported loci on chromosomes 3, 7 and 9.

Haubold M, Weise A, Stephan H, Dünker N
Bone morphogenetic protein 4 (BMP4) signaling in retinoblastoma cells.
Int J Biol Sci. 2010; 6(7):700-15 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) - expressed in the developing retina - are known to be involved in the regulation of cell proliferation and apoptosis in several tumor entities. The objective of this study was to determine the role of the BMP4 pathway in retinoblastoma cells, which are absent in a functional retinoblastoma (RB1) gene. BMP receptors were detected in all retinoblastoma cell lines investigated. A correct transmission of BMP signaling via the Smad1/5/8 pathway could be demonstrated in WERI-Rb1 retinoblastoma cells and application of recombinant human BMP4 resulted in an increase in apoptosis, which to a large extend is caspase independent. Cell proliferation was not affected by BMP4 signaling, although the pRb-related proteins p107 and p130, contributing to the regulation of the same genes, are still expressed. WERI-Rb1 cells exhibit elevated endogenous levels of p21(CIP1) and p53, but we did not detect any increase in p53, p21(CIP1)or p27(KIP1) expression levels. Id proteins became, however, strongly up-regulated upon exogenous BMP4 treatment. Thus, RB1 loss in WERI-Rb1 cells is obviously not compensated for by pRb-independent (e.g. p53-dependent) cell cycle control mechanisms, preventing an anti-proliferative response to BMP4, which normally induces cell cycle arrest.

Park SW, Hur SY, Yoo NJ, Lee SH
Somatic frameshift mutations of bone morphogenic protein receptor 2 gene in gastric and colorectal cancers with microsatellite instability.
APMIS. 2010; 118(11):824-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Mounting evidence exists that perturbation of bone morphogenic protein (BMP) signaling is involved in cancer development, especially in gastrointestinal cancers. However, somatic mutations of the genes encoding BMP and BMP receptors have not yet been discovered in human cancer tissues. By analyzing a public database, we found that BMP receptor 2 (BMPR2) and BMP1 genes had mononucleotide repeats in their coding sequences that could be mutation targets in cancers with microsatellite instability (MSI). In this study, we analyzed the mutation of BMPR2 and BMP1 genes in gastric (GC) and colorectal cancers (CRC) with MSI [31 GC with high MSI (MSI-H), 13 GC with low MSI (MSI-L), 38 CRC with MSI-H and 15 CRC with MSI-L] by single-strand conformation polymorphism analysis and DNA sequencing. Overall, we found seven frameshift mutations in the BMPR2 gene, but not in the BMP1 gene. The mutations were an identical deletion mutation of one base in the repeats (c.1748delA) that would result in premature stops of the amino acid synthesis (p.Asn583ThrfsX44). The BMPR2 mutations were detected in 6.5% of GC and 13.2% of CRC with MSI-H. All the cancers with the BMPR2 mutation showed loss of BMPR2 expression. Our data indicate that frameshift mutation of BMPR2 gene occurs in GC and CRC with MSI-H, and suggest that the BMPR2 mutation might contribute to cancer pathogenesis by inactivating BMPR2-mediated BMP signaling.

Durrington HJ, Upton PD, Hoer S, et al.
Identification of a lysosomal pathway regulating degradation of the bone morphogenetic protein receptor type II.
J Biol Chem. 2010; 285(48):37641-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) are critically involved in early development and cell differentiation. In humans, dysfunction of the bone morphogenetic protein type II receptor (BMPR-II) is associated with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) and neoplasia. The ability of Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), the etiologic agent of Kaposi sarcoma and primary effusion lymphoma, to down-regulate cell surface receptor expression is well documented. Here we show that KSHV infection reduces cell surface BMPR-II. We propose that this occurs through the expression of the viral lytic gene, K5, a ubiquitin E3 ligase. Ectopic expression of K5 leads to BMPR-II ubiquitination and lysosomal degradation with a consequent decrease in BMP signaling. The down-regulation by K5 is dependent on both its RING domain and a membrane-proximal lysine in the cytoplasmic domain of BMPR-II. We demonstrate that expression of BMPR-II protein is constitutively regulated by lysosomal degradation in vascular cells and provide preliminary evidence for the involvement of the mammalian E3 ligase, Itch, in the constitutive degradation of BMPR-II. Disruption of BMP signaling may therefore play a role in the pathobiology of diseases caused by KSHV infection, as well as KSHV-associated tumorigenesis and vascular disease.

Bellam N, Pasche B
Tgf-beta signaling alterations and colon cancer.
Cancer Treat Res. 2010; 155:85-103 [PubMed] Related Publications
Colorectal cancer is the second most common cause of cancer-related death in the United States. Twin studies suggest that 35% of all colorectal cancer cases are inherited. High-penetrance tumor susceptibility genes account for at most 3-6% of all colorectal cancer cases and the remainder of the unexplained risk is likely due to a combination of low to moderate penetrance genes. Recent genome-wide association studies have identified several SNPs near genes belonging to the transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) superfamily such as GREM1 and SMAD7. Together with the recent discovery that constitutively decreased TGFBR1 expression is a potent modifier of colorectal cancer risk, these findings strongly suggest that germline variants of the TGF-beta superfamily may account for a sizeable proportion of colorectal cancer cases. The TGF-beta superfamily signaling pathways mediate many different biological processes during embryonic development, and in adult organisms they play a role in tissue homeostasis. TGF-beta has a central role in inhibiting cell proliferation and also modulates processes such as cell invasion, immune regulation, and microenvironment modification. Mutations in the TGF-beta type II receptor (TGFBR2) are estimated to occur in approximately 30% of colorectal carcinomas. Mutations in SMAD4 and BMPR1A are found in patients with familial juvenile polyposis, an autosomal dominant condition associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer. This chapter provides an overview of the genetic basis of colorectal cancer and discusses recent discoveries related to alterations in the TGF-beta pathways and their role in the development of colorectal cancer.

Dzietczenia J, Wróbel T, Jaźwiec B, et al.
Expression of bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) receptors in patients with B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL).
Int J Lab Hematol. 2010; 32(6 Pt 1):e217-21 [PubMed] Related Publications
Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) are multifunctional cytokines which belong to transforming growth factor β (TGF β) superfamily. They regulate proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis in a variety of cells including hematopoietic cells. BMPs act because of binding to two types of serine/threonine kinase receptors: BMP type I receptors (IA and IB) and BMP type II receptor. Deregulation of BMPs signaling pathways has been reported in some of human cancers, but the role of BMPs in hematopoietic malignancies remains unknown. The aim of our study was to examine the percentage of expression of BMPs receptors on lymphocytes of patients with B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL). A total of 46 patients with B-CLL (27 men and 19 women) and 10 healthy persons were evaluated. Freshly isolated mononuclear cells were incubated with antibodies against BMPs receptors: BMPRIA, BMPRIB, and BMPRII and examined in 2-color flow cytometry. On cells of patients with B-CLL, the percentage of expression of BMP RIA, BMP RIB, and BMP RII was significantly higher than in normal cells of the control group. The percentage of the expression of BMP RIA and BMP RIB was higher in patients with advanced stage of disease.

Suzuki Y, Ohga N, Morishita Y, et al.
BMP-9 induces proliferation of multiple types of endothelial cells in vitro and in vivo.
J Cell Sci. 2010; 123(Pt 10):1684-92 [PubMed] Related Publications
Members of the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) family have been implicated in the development and maintenance of vascular systems. Whereas members of the BMP-2/4 and osteogenic protein-1 groups signal via activin receptor-like kinase (ALK)-2, ALK-3 and ALK-6, BMP-9 and BMP-10 have been reported to bind to ALK-1 in endothelial cells. However, the roles of BMP-9-ALK-1 signaling in the regulation of endothelial cells have not yet been fully elucidated. Here, using various systems, we examined the effects of BMP-9 on the proliferation of endothelial cells. Vascular-tube formation from ex vivo allantoic explants of mouse embryos was promoted by BMP-9. BMP-9, as well as BMP-4 and BMP-6, also induced the proliferation of in-vitro-cultured mouse embryonic-stem-cell-derived endothelial cells (MESECs) by inducing the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 and Tie2, a receptor for angiopoietin-1. A decrease in ALK-1 expression or expression of constitutively active ALK-1 in MESECs abrogated and mimicked the effects of BMP-9 on the proliferation of MESECs, respectively, suggesting that BMP-9 promotes the proliferation of these cells via ALK-1. Furthermore, in vivo angiogenesis was promoted by BMP-9 in a Matrigel plug assay and in a BxPC3 xenograft model of human pancreatic cancer. Consistent with these in vivo findings, BMP-9 enhanced the proliferation of in-vitro-cultured normal endothelial cells from dermal tissues of adult mice and of tumor-associated endothelial cells isolated from tumor xenografts in host mice. These findings suggest that BMP-9 signaling activates the endothelium tested in the present study via ALK-1.

Berry A, Matthews L, Jangani M, et al.
Interferon-inducible factor 16 is a novel modulator of glucocorticoid action.
FASEB J. 2010; 24(6):1700-13 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Previously, we used cDNA expression profiling to identify genes associated with glucocorticoid (Gc) sensitivity. We now identify which of these directly influence Gc action. Interferon-inducible protein 16 (IFI16), bone morphogenetic protein receptor type II (BMPRII), and regulator of G-protein signaling 14 (RGS14) increased Gc transactivation, whereas sialyltransferase 4B (SIAT4B) had a negative effect. Amyloid beta (A4) precursor-protein binding, family B, member 1 (APBB1/Fe65) and neural cell expressed developmentally down-regulated 9 (NEDD9) were without effect. Only IFI16 potentiated Gc repression of NF-kappaB. In addition, IFI16 affected basal expression, and Gc induction of endogenous target genes. IFI16 did not affect glucocorticoid receptor (GR) expression, ligand-dependent repression of GR expression, or the ligand-dependent induction of GR phosphorylation on Ser-211 or Ser-203. Coimmunoprecipitation revealed an interaction, suggesting that IFI16 modulation of GR function is mediated by protein crosstalk. Transfection analysis with GR mutants showed that the ligand-binding domain of GR binds IFI16 and is the target domain for IFI16 regulation. Analysis of human lung sections identified colocalization of GR and IFI16, suggesting a physiologically relevant interaction. We demonstrate that IFI16 is a novel modulator of GR function and show the importance of analyzing variation in Gc sensitivity in humans, using appropriate technology, to drive discovery.

Cunha SI, Pardali E, Thorikay M, et al.
Genetic and pharmacological targeting of activin receptor-like kinase 1 impairs tumor growth and angiogenesis.
J Exp Med. 2010; 207(1):85-100 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Members of the transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) family have been genetically linked to vascular formation during embryogenesis. However, contradictory studies about the role of TGF-beta and other family members with reported vascular functions, such as bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) 9, in physiological and pathological angiogenesis make the need for mechanistic studies apparent. We demonstrate, by genetic and pharmacological means, that the TGF-beta and BMP9 receptor activin receptor-like kinase (ALK) 1 represents a new therapeutic target for tumor angiogenesis. Diminution of ALK1 gene dosage or systemic treatment with the ALK1-Fc fusion protein RAP-041 retarded tumor growth and progression by inhibition of angiogenesis in a transgenic mouse model of multistep tumorigenesis. Furthermore, RAP-041 significantly impaired the in vitro and in vivo angiogenic response toward vascular endothelial growth factor A and basic fibroblast growth factor. In seeking the mechanism for the observed effects, we uncovered an unexpected signaling synergy between TGF-beta and BMP9, through which the combined action of the two factors augmented the endothelial cell response to angiogenic stimuli. We delineate a decisive role for signaling by TGF-beta family members in tumor angiogenesis and offer mechanistic insight for the forthcoming clinical development of drugs blocking ALK1 in oncology.

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