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Soluble Repulsive Guidance Molecule c/Hemojuvelin Is a Broad Spectrum Bone Morphogenetic Protein (BMP) Antagonist and Inhibits both BMP2- and BMP6-mediated Signaling and Gene Expression*

By Mahta Nili, Ujwal Shinde and Peter Rotwein


Inactivating mutations in hemojuvelin/repulsive guidance molecule c (HJV/RGMc) cause juvenile hemochromatosis (JH), a rapidly progressive iron overload disorder in which expression of hepcidin, a key liver-derived iron-regulatory hormone, is severely diminished. Several growth factors in the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) family, including BMP2 and BMP6, can stimulate production of hepcidin, a biological effect that may be modified by RGMc. Here we demonstrate that soluble RGMc proteins are potent BMP inhibitors. We find that 50- and 40-kDa RGMc isoforms, when added to cells as highly purified IgG Fc fusion proteins, are able to block the acute effects of both BMP2 and BMP6 at the levels of Smad induction and gene activation, and thus represent a potentially unique class of broad-spectrum BMP antagonists. Whole transcript microarray analysis revealed that BMP2 and BMP6 each stimulated expression of a nearly identical cohort of ∼40 mRNAs in Hep3B cells and demonstrated that 40-kDa RGMc was an effective inhibitor of both growth factors, although its potency was less than that of the known BMP2-selective antagonist, Noggin. We additionally show that JH-linked RGMc mutant proteins that retain the ability to bind BMPs are also able to function as BMP inhibitors, and like the wild type soluble RGMc species, can block BMP-activated hepcidin gene expression. The latter results raise the question of whether disease severity in JH will vary depending on the ability of a given mutant RGMc protein to interact with BMPs

Topics: Signal Transduction
Publisher: American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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