Heparan sulfate acts as a bone morphogenetic protein coreceptor by facilitating ligand-induced receptor hetero-oligomerization.
ABSTRACT: Cell surface heparan sulfate (HS) not only binds several major classes of growth factors but also sometimes potentiates their activities--an effect usually termed "coreception." A view that coreception is due to the stabilization of growth factor-receptor interactions has emerged primarily from studies of the fibroblast growth factors (FGFs). Recent in vivo studies have strongly suggested that HS also plays an important role in regulating signaling by the bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs). Here, we provide evidence that the mechanism of coreception for BMPs is markedly different from that established for FGFs. First, we demonstrate a direct, stimulatory role for cell surface HS in the immediate signaling activities of BMP2 and BMP4, and we provide evidence that HS-BMP interactions are required for this effect. Next, using several independent assays of ligand binding and receptor assembly, including coimmunoprecipitation, cross-linking, and fluorescence fluctuation microscopy, we show that HS does not affect BMP binding to type I receptor subunits but instead enhances the subsequent recruitment of type II receptor subunits to BMP-type I receptor complexes. This suggests a view of HS as a catalyst of the formation of signaling complexes, rather than as a stabilizer of growth factor binding.
Project description:Astrocytes constitute a major cell population in the brain with a myriad of essential functions, yet we know remarkably little about the signaling pathways and mechanisms that direct astrocyte maturation. To explore the signals regulating astrocyte development, we prospectively purified and cultured immature postnatal rodent astrocytes. We identified fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) and bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) as robust trophic factors for immature astrocytes. We showed that astrocytes respond directly to BMPs via phosphorylation of the smad1/5/8 pathway. In vitro, BMP signaling promoted immature astrocytes to adopt multiple characteristics of mature astrocytes, including a more process-bearing morphology, aquaporin-4 (AQP4) and S100? immunoreactivity, limited proliferation, and strong downregulation of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). In vivo, activation of the smad1/5/8 pathway in astrocytes was seen during early postnatal development, but inhibition of astrocyte proliferation was not observed. These insights can aid in the further dissection of the mechanisms and pathways controlling astrocyte biology and development.
Project description:The bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling pathways have important roles in embryonic development and cellular homeostasis, with aberrant BMP signaling resulting in a broad spectrum of human disease. We report that BMPs unexpectedly signal through the canonical transforming growth factor ? (TGF-?)-responsive Smad2 and Smad3. BMP-induced Smad2/3 signaling occurs preferentially in embryonic cells and transformed cells. BMPs signal to Smad2/3 by stimulating complex formation between the BMP-binding TGF-? superfamily receptors, activin receptor-like kinase (ALK)3/6, and the Smad2/3 phosphorylating receptors ALK5/7. BMP signaling through Smad2 mediates, in part, dorsoventral axis patterning in zebrafish embryos, whereas BMP signaling through Smad3 facilitates cancer cell invasion. Consistent with increased BMP-mediated Smad2/3 signaling during cancer progression, Smad1/5 and Smad 2/3 signaling converge in human cancer specimens. Thus, the signaling mechanisms used by BMPs and TGF-? superfamily receptors are broader than previously appreciated.
Project description:Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) are members of the transforming growth factor-beta superfamily of growth factors and are used clinically to induce new bone formation. The purpose of this study was to evaluate receptor utilization by BMP-2, BMP-4, BMP-6, and BMP-7 in primary human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSC), a physiologically relevant cell type that probably mediates the in vivo effects of BMPs. RNA interference-mediated gene knockdown revealed that osteoinductive BMP activities in hMSC are elicited through the type I receptors ACVR1A and BMPR1A and the type II receptors ACVR2A and BMPR2. BMPR1B and ACVR2B were expressed at low levels and were not found to play a significant role in signaling by any of the BMPs evaluated in this study. Type II receptor utilization differed significantly between BMP-2/4 and BMP-6/7. A greater reliance on BMPR2 was observed for BMP-2/4 relative to BMP-6/7, whereas ACVR2A was more critical to signaling by BMP-6/7 than BMP-2/4. Significant differences were also observed for the type I receptors. Although BMP-2/4 used predominantly BMPR1A for signaling, ACVR1A was the preferred type I receptor for BMP-6/7. Signaling by both BMP-2/4 and BMP-6/7 was mediated by homodimers of ACVR1A or BMPR1A. A portion of BMP-2/4 signaling also required concurrent BMPR1A and ACVR1A expression, suggesting that BMP-2/4 signal in part through ACVR1A/BMPR1A heterodimers. The capacity of ACVR1A and BMPR1A to form homodimers and heterodimers was confirmed by bioluminescence resonance energy transfer analyses. These results suggest different mechanisms for BMP-2/4- and BMP-6/7-induced osteoblastic differentiation in primary hMSC.
Project description:In Drosophila, the secreted BMP-binding protein Short gastrulation (Sog) inhibits signaling by sequestering BMPs from receptors, but enhances signaling by transporting BMPs through tissues. We show that Crossveinless 2 (Cv-2) is also a secreted BMP-binding protein that enhances or inhibits BMP signaling. Unlike Sog, however, Cv-2 does not promote signaling by transporting BMPs. Rather, Cv-2 binds cell surfaces and heparan sulfate proteoglygans and acts over a short range. Cv-2 binds the type I BMP receptor Thickveins (Tkv), and we demonstrate how the exchange of BMPs between Cv-2 and receptor can produce the observed biphasic response to Cv-2 concentration, where low levels promote and high levels inhibit signaling. Importantly, we show also how the concentration or type of BMP present can determine whether Cv-2 promotes or inhibits signaling. We also find that Cv-2 expression is controlled by BMP signaling, and these combined properties enable Cv-2 to exquisitely tune BMP signaling.
Project description:Bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling is required for endochondral bone formation. However, whether or not the effects of BMPs are mediated via canonical Smad pathways or through noncanonical pathways is unknown. In this study we have determined the role of receptor Smads 1, 5 and 8 in chondrogenesis. Deletion of individual Smads results in viable and fertile mice. Combined loss of Smads 1, 5 and 8, however, results in severe chondrodysplasia. Smad1/5(CKO) (cartilage-specific knockout) mutant mice are nearly identical to Smad1/5(CKO);Smad8(-/-) mutants, indicating that Smads 1 and 5 have overlapping functions and are more important than Smad8 in cartilage. The Smad1/5(CKO) phenotype is more severe than that of Smad4(CKO) mice, challenging the dogma, at least in chondrocytes, that Smad4 is required to mediate Smad signaling through BMP pathways. The chondrodysplasia in Smad1/5(CKO) mice is accompanied by imbalances in cross-talk between the BMP, FGF and Ihh/PTHrP pathways. We show that Ihh is a direct target of BMP pathways in chondrocytes, and that FGF exerts antagonistic effects on Ihh expression. Finally, we tested whether FGF exerts its antagonistic effects directly through Smad linker phosphorylation. The results support the alternative conclusion that the effects of FGFs on BMP signaling are indirect in vivo.
Project description:BMP7 evokes acute chemotropic PI3K-dependent responses, such as growth cone collapse and monocyte chemotaxis, as well as classical Smad-dependent gene transcription. That these divergent responses can be activated in the same cell raises the question of how the BMP-dependent signaling apparatus is manipulated to produce chemotropic and transcriptional signals. RNA interference and site-directed mutagenesis were used to explore functional and structural BMP receptor requirements for BMP7-evoked chemotropic activity. We show that specific type II BMP receptor subunits, ActRIIA and BMPR2, are required for BMP7-induced growth cone collapse in developing spinal neurons and for chemotaxis of monocytes. Reintroduction of wild-type ActRIIA into monocytic cells lacking endogenous ActRIIA restores BMP7-evoked chemotaxis, whereas expression of an ActRIIA K76A receptor variant fails to rescue. BMP7-evoked Smad-dependent signaling is unaffected by either ActRIIA knockdown or expression of the ActRIIA K76A variant. In contrast, BMP7-evoked PI3K-dependent signaling is significantly disturbed in the presence of ActRIIA K76A. These results support a model for selective engagement of chemotropic BMPs with type II BMP receptors, through specific residues, that results in strict regulation of PI3K-dependent signal transduction.This article has an associated First Person interview with the first author of the paper.
Project description:Bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)-evoked reorientation and chemotaxis of cells occurs with rapid onset and involves events local to the cell membrane. The signaling pathways underlying these rapid processes likely diverge from those mediating classical transcriptional responses to BMPs but it remains unclear how BMP receptors are utilized to generate distinct intracellular mechanisms. We show that BMP7-evoked chemotaxis of monocytic cells depends on the activity of canonical type II BMP receptors. Although the three canonical type II BMP receptors are expressed in monocytic cells, inhibition of receptor subunit expression by RNAi reveals that ActRIIA and BMPRII, but not ActRIIB, are each essential for BMP7-evoked chemotaxis but not required individually for BMP-mediated induction. Furthermore, the chemotactic response to BMP7 does not involve canonical Smad4-dependent signaling but acts through PI3K-dependent signaling, illustrating selective activation of distinct intracellular events through differential engagement of receptors. We suggest a model of a BMP receptor complex in which the coordinated activity of ActRIIA and BMPRII receptor subunits selectively mediates the chemotactic response to BMP7.
Project description:Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs), which are members of the transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) superfamily, have been implicated in bone formation and the regulation of early development. To better understand the roles of BMPs in Xenopus laevis embryogenesis, we have cloned a cDNA coding for a serine/threonine kinase receptor that binds BMP-2 and BMP-4. To analyze its function, we attempted to block the BMP signaling pathway in Xenopus embryos by using a dominant-negative mutant of the BMP receptor. When the mutant receptor lacking the putative serine/threonine kinase domain was expressed in ventral blastomeres of Xenopus embryos, these blastomeres were respecified to dorsal mesoderm, eventually resulting in the formation of a secondary body axis. These findings suggest that endogenous BMP-2 and BMP-4 are involved in the dorsal-ventral specification in the embryo and that ventral fate requires induction rather than resulting from an absence of dorsal specification.
Project description:Ontogeny of higher organisms as well the regulation of tissue homeostasis in adult individuals requires a fine-balanced interplay of regulating factors that individually trigger the fate of particular cells to either stay undifferentiated or to differentiate towards distinct tissue specific lineages. In some cases, these factors act synergistically to promote certain cellular responses, whereas in other tissues the same factors antagonize each other. However, the molecular basis of this obvious dual signaling activity is still only poorly understood. Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) and fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) are two major signal protein families that have a lot in common: They are both highly preserved between different species, involved in essential cellular functions, and their ligands vastly outnumber their receptors, making extensive signal regulation necessary. In this review we discuss where and how BMP and FGF signaling cross paths. The compiled data reflect that both factors synchronously act in many tissues, and that antagonism and synergism both exist in a context-dependent manner. Therefore, by challenging a generalization of the connection between these two pathways a new chapter in BMP FGF signaling research will be introduced.
Project description:Fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) signal in a paracrine or endocrine fashion to mediate a myriad of biological activities, ranging from issuing developmental cues, maintaining tissue homeostasis, and regulating metabolic processes. FGFs carry out their diverse functions by binding and dimerizing FGF receptors (FGFRs) in a heparan sulfate (HS) cofactor- or Klotho coreceptor-assisted manner. The accumulated wealth of structural and biophysical data in the past decade has transformed our understanding of the mechanism of FGF signaling in human health and development, and has provided novel concepts in receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) signaling. Among these contributions are the elucidation of HS-assisted receptor dimerization, delineation of the molecular determinants of ligand-receptor specificity, tyrosine kinase regulation, receptor cis-autoinhibition, and tyrosine trans-autophosphorylation. These structural studies have also revealed how disease-associated mutations highjack the physiological mechanisms of FGFR regulation to contribute to human diseases. In this paper, we will discuss the structurally and biophysically derived mechanisms of FGF signaling, and how the insights gained may guide the development of therapies for treatment of a diverse array of human diseases.