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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003 Oct 14;100(21):12277-82. Epub 2003 Oct 1.

Mutations in bone morphogenetic protein receptor 1B cause brachydactyly type A2.

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Institut für Medizinische Genetik, Humboldt-Universität, Charité, Augustenburger Platz 1, 13353 Berlin, Germany.


Brachydactyly (BD) type A2 is an autosomal dominant hand malformation characterized by shortening and lateral deviation of the index fingers and, to a variable degree, shortening and deviation of the first and second toes. We performed linkage analysis in two unrelated German families and mapped a locus for BD type A2 to 4q21-q25. This interval includes the gene bone morphogenetic protein receptor 1B (BMPR1B), a type I transmembrane serinethreonine kinase. In one family, we identified a T599 --> A mutation changing an isoleucine into a lysine residue (I200K) within the glycine/serine (GS) domain of BMPR1B, a region involved in phosphorylation of the receptor. In the other family we identified a C1456 --> T mutation leading to an arginine-to-tryptophan amino acid change (R486W) in a highly conserved region C-terminal of the BMPR1B kinase domain. An in vitro kinase assay showed that the I200K mutation is kinase-deficient, whereas the R486W mutation has normal kinase activity, indicating a different pathogenic mechanism. Functional analyses with a micromass culture system revealed a strong inhibition of chondrogenesis by both mutant receptors. Overexpression of mutant chBmpR1b in vivo in chick embryos by using a retroviral system resulted either in a BD phenotype with shortening and/or missing phalanges similar to the human phenotype or in severe hypoplasia of the entire limb. These findings imply that both mutations identified in human BMPR1B affect cartilage formation in a dominant-negative manner.

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