SCIENCE CHINA Life Sciences, Volume 61 , Issue 7 : 800-807(2018) https://doi.org/10.1007/s11427-018-9310-7

BMP signaling in homeostasis, transformation and inflammatory response of intestinal epithelium

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  • ReceivedMar 6, 2018
  • AcceptedApr 3, 2018
  • PublishedMay 29, 2018


Funded by

grants from the National Key Research and Development Program of China(2017YFA0103601)

the National Natural Science Foundation of China(31330049)


This work was supported by grants from the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2017YFA0103601) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31330049) to YGC.

Interest statement

The author(s) declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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  • Figure 1

    The BMP signaling pathway. Upon binding to extracellular BMPs, BMPRII phosphorylates and activates BMPRI, which in turn phosphorylates downstream Smad1/5/8. The R-Smad proteins form a complex with Smad4 and are accumulated in the nucleus to regulate target gene transcription. Noggin and Gremlin 1 associate with BMPs in the extracellular compartment and prevent their binding to the receptors.

  • Figure 2

    The function of BMP signaling in intestine. Left panel: Under the physiological condition, a high level of Noggin in the bottom of crypts shapes a BMP signaling gradient from the crypt to the villus tip. BMP signaling prevents cell proliferation, suppresses intestinal stem cell self-renewal and promotes secretory cell differentiation. Right panel: Disruption of BMP singling in epithelial cells results in epithelial cell proliferation and intestinal stem cell expansion. BMPRIA knockout induces epithelial cell transformation and polyps formation in a long term. Moreover, blockage of BMP signaling in mesenchymal cells leads to hyperproliferation of intestinal stem cells and polyp formation by changing the stem cell niche.


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