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    Activins transduce the TGF-β pathway through a heteromeric signaling complex consisting of type I and type II receptors, and activins also inhibit bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling mediated by type I receptor ALK2. Recent studies indicated that activin A cross-activates the BMP pathway through ALK2R206H, a mutation associated with Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva (FOP). How activin A inhibits ALK2WT-mediated BMP signaling but activates ALK2R206H-mediated BMP signaling is not well understood, and here we offer some insights into its molecular mechanism. We first demonstrated that among four BMP type I receptors, ALK2 is the only subtype able to mediate the activin A-induced BMP signaling upon the dissociation of FKBP12. We further showed that BMP4 does not cross-signal TGF-β pathway upon FKBP12 inhibition. In addition, although the roles of type II receptors in the ligand-independent BMP signaling activated by FOP-associated mutant ALK2 have been reported, their roles in activin A-induced BMP signaling remains unclear. We demonstrated in this study that the known type II BMP receptors contribute to activin A-induced BMP signaling through their kinase activity. Together, the current study provided important mechanistic insights at the molecular level into further understanding physiological and pathophysiological BMP signaling.

    Citation

    Chen Xie, Wenjuan Jiang, Jerome J Lacroix, Yun Luo, Jijun Hao. Insight into Molecular Mechanism for Activin A-Induced Bone Morphogenetic Protein Signaling. International journal of molecular sciences. 2020 Sep 05;21(18)

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    PMID: 32899497

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