Secreted noggin protein regulates bone morphogenetic protein activity during development. In mice, a complete loss of noggin protein leads to multiple malformations including joint fusion, whereas mice heterozygous for Nog loss-of-function mutations are normal. In humans, heterozygous NOG missense mutations have been found in patients with two autosomal dominant disorders of joint development, multiple synostosis syndrome (SYNS1) and a milder disorder proximal symphalangism (SYM1). This study investigated the effect of one SYNS1 and two SYM1 disease-causing missense mutations on the structure and function of noggin. The SYNS1 mutation abolished, and the SYM1 mutations reduced, the secretion of functional noggin dimers in transiently transfected COS-7 cells. Coexpression of mutant noggin with wild-type noggin, to resemble the heterozygous state, did not interfere with wild-type noggin secretion. These data indicate that the human disease-causing mutations are hypomorphic alleles that reduce secretion of functional dimeric noggin. Therefore, we conclude that noggin has both species-specific and joint-specific dosage-dependent roles during joint formation. Surprisingly, in contrast to the COS-7 cell studies, the SYNS1 mutant was able to form dimers in Xenopus laevis oocytes. This finding indicates that there also exist species-specific differences in the ability to process mutant noggin polypeptides.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Sep 25 2001|
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