Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
PLoS One. 2012;7(4):e32554. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0032554. Epub 2012 Apr 2.

Fstl1 antagonizes BMP signaling and regulates ureter development.

Author information

  • 1MOE Key Laboratory of Model Animal for Disease Study, Model Animal Research Center, Nanjing University, Nanjing, China.


Bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling pathway plays important roles in urinary tract development although the detailed regulation of its activity in this process remains unclear. Here we report that follistatin-like 1 (Fstl1), encoding a secreted extracellular glycoprotein, is expressed in developing ureter and antagonizes BMP signaling activity. Mouse embryos carrying disrupted Fstl1 gene displayed prominent hydroureter arising from proximal segment and ureterovesical junction defects. These defects were associated with significant reduction in ureteric epithelial cell proliferation at E15.5 and E16.5 as well as absence of subepithelial ureteral mesenchymal cells in the urinary tract at E16.5 and E18.5. At the molecular level, increased BMP signaling was found in Fstl1 deficient ureters, indicated by elevated pSmad1/5/8 activity. In vitro study also indicated that Fstl1 can directly bind to ALK6 which is specifically expressed in ureteric epithelial cells in developing ureter. Furthermore, Sonic hedgehog (SHH) signaling, which is crucial for differentiation of ureteral subepithelial cell proliferation, was also impaired in Fstl1(-/-) ureter. Altogether, our data suggest that Fstl1 is essential in maintaining normal ureter development by antagonizing BMP signaling.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk