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Mech Dev. 2001 Feb;100(2):327-30.

Bambi is coexpressed with Bmp-4 during mouse embryogenesis.

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Entwicklungs- und Molekularbiologie der Tiere, Heinrich-Heine-Universität, Universitätsstrasse 1, 40225, Düsseldorf, Germany.


Signaling of TGF-beta superfamily members is tightly controlled by an elaborate network of regulators (for recent review see Trends Genet. 15 (1999) 3; Genes Dev. 14 (2000) 627). Recently, the transmembrane protein BAMBI (BMP and activin membrane-bound inhibitor) has been shown to interfere with Bmp and activin-like signaling by inhibiting Tgf-beta type I receptor activation (Nature 401 (1999) 480). In striking contrast to other Bmp antagonists like noggin (Cell 86 (1996) 599) or chordin (Cell 86 (1996) 589), BAMBI is strictly coexpressed with Bmp-4 during early Xenopus embryogenesis. The grouping of genes according to their shared complex spatial expression pattern and their involvement in the same biological signaling pathway has been referred to as synexpression group. This concept facilitates prognoses about the roles of a group member with unknown function. Apparently, only a minority of genes is organized in synexpression groups and up to now they have mainly been described in yeast and Xenopus (for review see Nature 402 (1999) 483). In the frog, BAMBI is a member of the Bmp-4 synexpression group (Nature 401 (1999) 480). We identified two murine homologues of BAMBI one of which, named Bambi-psi, is a pseudogene. We show that the spatiotemporal expression pattern of Bambi closely matches that of Bmp-4 during mouse embryonic development. Moreover, we show that Bambi expression is induced in mouse embryonic fibroblasts by Bmp-4. Hence, we provide first evidence for the existence of an evolutionarily conserved Bmp-4 synexpression group in mammals.

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