BMP type II receptor as a therapeutic target in pulmonary arterial hypertension

Mar Orriols, Maria Catalina Gomez-Puerto, Peter Ten Dijke
Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences: CMLS 2017, 74 (16): 2979-2995
Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a chronic disease characterized by a progressive elevation in mean pulmonary arterial pressure. This occurs due to abnormal remodeling of small peripheral lung vasculature resulting in progressive occlusion of the artery lumen that eventually causes right heart failure and death. The most common cause of PAH is inactivating mutations in the gene encoding a bone morphogenetic protein type II receptor (BMPRII). Current therapeutic options for PAH are limited and focused mainly on reversal of pulmonary vasoconstriction and proliferation of vascular cells. Although these treatments can relieve disease symptoms, PAH remains a progressive lethal disease. Emerging data suggest that restoration of BMPRII signaling in PAH is a promising alternative that could prevent and reverse pulmonary vascular remodeling. Here we will focus on recent advances in rescuing BMPRII expression, function or signaling to prevent and reverse pulmonary vascular remodeling in PAH and its feasibility for clinical translation. Furthermore, we summarize the role of described miRNAs that directly target the BMPR2 gene in blood vessels. We discuss the therapeutic potential and the limitations of promising new approaches to restore BMPRII signaling in PAH patients. Different mutations in BMPR2 and environmental/genetic factors make PAH a heterogeneous disease and it is thus likely that the best approach will be patient-tailored therapies.

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