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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

BMP signaling during bone pattern determination in the developing limb.

To examine the role of BMP signaling during limb pattern formation, we isolated chicken cDNAs encoding type I (BRK-1 and BRK-2) and type II (BRK-3) receptors for bone morphogenetic proteins. BRK-2 and BRK-3, which constitute dual-affinity signaling receptor complexes for BMPs, are co-expressed in condensing precartilaginous cells, while BRK-1 is weakly expressed in the limb mesenchyme. BRK-3 is also expressed in the apical ectodermal ridge and interdigital limb mesenchyme. BRK-2 is intensely expressed in the posterior-distal region of the limb bud. During digit duplication by implanting Sonic hedgehog-producing cells, BRK-2 expression is induced anteriorly in the new digit forming region as observed for BMP-2 and BMP-7 expression in the limb bud. Dominant-negative effects on BMP signaling were obtained by over-expressing kinase domain-deficient forms of the receptors. Chondrogenesis of limb mesenchymal cells is markedly inhibited by dominant-negative BRK-2 and BRK-3, but not by BRK-1. Although the bone pattern was not disturbed by expressing individual dominant-negative BRK independently, preferential distal and posterior limb truncations resulted from co-expressing the dominant-negative forms of BRK-2 and BRK-3 in the whole limb bud, thus providing evidence that BMPs are essential morphogenetic signals for limb bone patterning.[1]


  1. BMP signaling during bone pattern determination in the developing limb. Kawakami, Y., Ishikawa, T., Shimabara, M., Tanda, N., Enomoto-Iwamoto, M., Iwamoto, M., Kuwana, T., Ueki, A., Noji, S., Nohno, T. Development (1996) [Pubmed]
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