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J Biol Chem. 2007 May 25;282(21):15843-50. Epub 2007 Mar 30.

Brorin, a novel secreted bone morphogenetic protein antagonist, promotes neurogenesis in mouse neural precursor cells.

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  • 1Department of Genetic Biochemistry, Kyoto University Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Sakyo, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan.


We identified a gene encoding a novel secreted protein in mice and humans and named it Brorin. Mouse Brorin consists of 324 amino acids with a putative secreted signal sequence at its amino terminus and two cysteine-rich domains in its core region. Positions of 10 cysteine residues in the domains of Brorin are similar to those in the cysteine-rich domains of members of the Chordin family. However, the amino acid sequence of Brorin is not significantly similar to that of any other member of the Chordin family, indicating that Brorin is a unique member of the family. Mouse Brorin protein produced in cultured cells was efficiently secreted into the culture medium. The protein inhibited the activity of bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP2) and BMP6 in mouse preosteoblastic MC3T3-E1 cells. Mouse Brorin was predominantly expressed in neural tissues in embryos and also predominantly expressed in the adult brain. In the brain, the expression was detected in neurons, but not glial cells. The neural tissue-specific expression profile of Brorin is quite distinct from that of any other member of the Chordin family. Brorin protein promoted neurogenesis, but not astrogenesis, in mouse neural precursor cells. The present findings indicate that Brorin is a novel secreted BMP antagonist that potentially plays roles in neural development and functions.

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