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22 February 2012 DAN (NBL1) Specifically Antagonizes BMP2 and BMP4 and Modulates the Actions of GDF9, BMP2, and BMP4 in the Rat Ovary
Wei-Ting Hung, Fang-Ju Wu, Chun-Jen Wang, Ching-Wei Luo
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Although differential screening-selected gene aberrative in neuroblastoma (DAN, official symbol NBL1) is the founding member of the DAN subfamily of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) antagonists, its antagonizing targets, gene regulation, and physiological functions remain unclear. Using diverse cell expression systems, we found that the generation of bioactive DAN is likely to be cell type specific. Unlike other phylogenetically close members, which are covalently linked homodimers, DAN forms a noncovalently linked homodimer during folding. Purified recombinant DAN specifically blocked signaling of BMP2 and BMP4 but not that of other ovarian-expressed transforming growth factor-beta members. Although widely distributed in many organs, DAN transcript level was periodically regulated by gonadotropins. Ovarian microdissection indicated that NBL1 (DAN) mRNA is mainly expressed in granulosa cells, where its transcript level is up-regulated by the gonadotropin-driven cAMP cascade. We further investigated the local regulation and ovarian functions of DAN. NBL1 (DAN) mRNA expression in granulosa cells was up-regulated by oocyte-derived growth differentiation factor 9 (GDF9), whereas treatment with DAN significantly reversed the inhibitory effect of BMP4 on follicle-stimulating hormone-induced progesterone production in cultured granulosa cells. Our findings suggest the DAN gradient in granulosa cells, established by oocyte-derived GDF9, may serve as an antagonist barrier that modulates the actions of theca-derived BMP4 and granulosa/theca-derived BMP2 during folliculogenesis both spatially and temporally.

© 2012 by the Society for the Study of Reproduction, Inc.
Wei-Ting Hung, Fang-Ju Wu, Chun-Jen Wang, and Ching-Wei Luo "DAN (NBL1) Specifically Antagonizes BMP2 and BMP4 and Modulates the Actions of GDF9, BMP2, and BMP4 in the Rat Ovary," Biology of Reproduction 86(5), (22 February 2012).
Received: 1 September 2011; Accepted: 1 February 2012; Published: 22 February 2012

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