Modulation of activin and BMP signaling

Craig A. Harrison, Peter Gray, Ezra Wiater, Jason Greenwald, Senyon Choe, Wylie Vale

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34 Citations (Scopus)


Activins and bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) elicit diverse biological responses by signaling through two pairs of structurally related types I and II receptors. Here, we summarize recent advances in understanding the mode of action of activins and BMPs, focusing on our elucidation of the crystal structure of BMP-7 in complex with the extracellular domain (ECD) of the activin type II receptor and our identification of a binding site for activin on the type I receptor ALK4. As a consequence of the broad range of activities of activins and BMPs, it is perhaps not surprising that additional mechanisms are continually being discovered through which a cell's responsiveness to these ligands is modulated. In this review, we describe novel ways in which the two extracellular cofactors, betaglycan and Cripto, regulate BMP and/or activin signal transduction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-24
Number of pages6
JournalMolecular and Cellular Endocrinology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Activin
  • Betaglycan
  • BMP
  • Cripto
  • Receptor

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