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PLoS One. 2013 May 13;8(5):e62659. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0062659. Print 2013.

Basolateral BMP signaling in polarized epithelial cells.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Interdisciplinary Graduate School of Medicine and Engineering, University of Yamanashi, Chuo, Yamanashi, Japan. msaitoh-ind@umin.ac.jp


Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) regulate various biological processes, mostly mediated by cells of mesenchymal origin. However, the roles of BMPs in epithelial cells are poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate that, in polarized epithelial cells, BMP signals are transmitted from BMP receptor complexes exclusively localized at the basolateral surface of the cell membrane. In addition, basolateral stimulation with BMP increased expression of components of tight junctions and enhanced the transepithelial resistance (TER), counteracting reduction of TER by treatment with TGF-β or an anti-tumor drug. We conclude that BMPs maintain epithelial polarity via intracellular signaling from basolaterally localized BMP receptors.

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