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Grenoble, France

Ricard N.,U878 | Ricard N.,French Atomic Energy Commission | Ricard N.,Joseph Fourier University | Bidart M.,U878 | And 15 more authors.
Blood | Year: 2010

Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) is an autosomal dominant genetically inheritable vascular dysplasia caused by mutations in genes encoding receptors of the transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) family: ENG, encoding endoglin (HHT1), and ACVRL1, encoding activin receptor-like kinase-1 (ALK1; HHT2). Our recent discovery of bone morphogenetic protein 9 (BMP9) as the specific ligand for ALK1 allowed us to reevaluate the functional significance of ACVRL1 mutations. We generated 19 ALK1 mutants reproducing HHT2 mutations (4 were novel mutations) found throughout the protein. We show that all ALK1 mutant proteins were expressed by transfected cells; most of them were present at the cell surface and retained their ability to bind BMP9 (except for the extracellular mutants). However, most were defective in BMP9 signaling. None of the ALK1 mutants had a dominant negative effect on wild-type ALK1 activity. These data demonstrate that mutations of ACVRL1 fit with a functional haploinsufficiency model affecting BMP9 signaling. Our study also identified 4 ACVRL1 mutations (D179A, R386C, R454W, and A482V) that did not alter the BMP9 responses that are polymorphisms and 2 novel mutations that are pathogenic (L381P and I485F). This demonstrates that the analysis of BMP9 responses can be used as a diagnostic tool by geneticists confronted with novel or conflicting ACVRL1 mutations. © 2010 by The American Society of Hematology.

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