DRAGON, a bone morphogenetic protein co-receptor

T A Samad, A Rebbapragada, E Bell, Y Zhang, Y Sidis, S-J Jeong, J A Campagna, S Perusini, D A Fabrizio, A L Schneyer, H Y Lin, A H Brivanlou, L Attisano, C J Woolf

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191 Citations (Scopus)


Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) are members of the transforming growth factor (TGF)beta superfamily of ligands that regulate many crucial aspects of embryonic development and organogenesis. Unlike other TGFbeta ligands, co-receptors for BMP ligands have not been described. Here we show that DRAGON, a glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored member of the repulsive guidance molecule family, which is expressed early in the developing nervous system, enhances BMP but not TGFbeta signaling. DRAGON binds directly to BMP2 and BMP4 but not to BMP7 or other TGFbeta ligands. The enhancing action of DRAGON on BMP signaling is also reduced by administration of Noggin, a soluble BMP antagonist, indicating that the action of DRAGON is ligand-dependent. DRAGON associates directly with BMP type I (ALK2, ALK3, and ALK6) and type II (ActRII and ActRIIB) receptors, and its signaling is reduced by dominant negative Smad1 and ALK3 or -6 receptors. In the Xenopus embryo, DRAGON both reduces the threshold of the ability of Smad1 to induce mesodermal and endodermal markers and alters neuronal and neural crest patterning. The direct interaction of DRAGON with BMP ligands and receptors indicates that it is a BMP co-receptor that potentiates BMP signaling. copyright 2005 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14122 - 14129
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 8 Apr 2005


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