Activin A inhibits BMP-signaling by binding ACVR2A and ACVR2B

Oddrun Elise Olsen, Karin Fahl Wader, Hanne Hella, Anne Kærsgaard Mylin, Ingemar Turesson, Ingerid Nesthus, Anders Waage, Anders Sundan, Toril Holien

    104 Citations (Scopus)


    BACKGROUND: Activins are members of the TGF-β family of ligands that have multiple biological functions in embryonic stem cells as well as in differentiated tissue. Serum levels of activin A were found to be elevated in pathological conditions such as cachexia, osteoporosis and cancer. Signaling by activin A through canonical ALK4-ACVR2 receptor complexes activates the transcription factors SMAD2 and SMAD3. Activin A has a strong affinity to type 2 receptors, a feature that they share with some of the bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs). Activin A is also elevated in myeloma patients with advanced disease and is involved in myeloma bone disease.

    RESULTS: In this study we investigated effects of activin A binding to receptors that are shared with BMPs using myeloma cell lines with well-characterized BMP-receptor expression and responses. Activin A antagonized BMP-6 and BMP-9, but not BMP-2 and BMP-4. Activin A was able to counteract BMPs that signal through the type 2 receptors ACVR2A and ACVR2B in combination with ALK2, but not BMPs that signal through BMPR2 in combination with ALK3 and ALK6.

    CONCLUSIONS: We propose that one important way that activin A regulates cell behavior is by antagonizing BMP-ACVR2A/ACVR2B/ALK2 signaling.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalCell Communication and Signaling
    Pages (from-to)27
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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