Activin A receptor, type I (ACVR1) is a protein which in humans is encoded by the ACVR1 gene; also known as ALK-2 (activin receptor-like kinase-2).
Activins are dimeric growth and differentiation factors which belong to the transforming growth factor-beta (TGF beta) superfamily of structurally related signaling proteins. Activins signal through a heteromeric complex of receptor serine kinases which include at least two type I ( I and IB) and two type II (II and IIB) receptors. These receptors are all transmembrane proteins, composed of a ligand-binding extracellular domain with cysteine-rich region, a transmembrane domain, and a cytoplasmic domain with predicted serine/threonine specificity. Type I receptors are essential for signaling; and type II receptors are required for binding ligands and for expression of type I receptors. Type I and II receptors form a stable complex after ligand binding, resulting in phosphorylation of type I receptors by type II receptors. This gene encodes activin A type I receptor which signals a particular transcriptional response in concert with activin type II receptors.
ACVR1 transduces signals of BMPs. BMPs bind either ACVR2A/ACVR2B or a BMPR2 and then form a complex with ACVR1. These go on to recruit the R-SMADs SMAD1, SMAD2, SMAD3 or SMAD6.
A mutation in the gene ACVR1 (= ALK2) is responsible for the fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva. ACVR1 encodes activin receptor type-1, a BMP type-1 receptor. The mutation causes the ACVR1 protein to have the amino acid histidine substituted for the amino acid arginine at position 206. This causes endothelial cells to transform to mesenchymal stem cells and then to bone.
Mutations in the ACVR1 gene have been linked to cancer, especially diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG).
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This article incorporates text from the United States National Library of Medicine, which is in the public domain.