Small molecules dorsomorphin and LDN-193189 inhibit myostatin/GDF8 signaling and promote functional myoblast differentiation

GDF8, or myostatin, is a member of the TGF-β superfamily of secreted polypeptide growth factors. GDF8 is a potent negative regulator of myogenesis both in vivo and in vitro. We found that GDF8 signaling was inhibited by the small molecule ATP competitive inhibitors dorsomorphin and LDN-193189. These compounds were previously shown to be potent inhibitors of BMP signaling by binding to the BMP type I receptors ALK1/2/3/6. We present the crystal structure of the type II receptor ActRIIA with dorsomorphin and demonstrate that dorsomorphin or LDN-193189 target GDF8 induced Smad2/3 signaling and repression of myogenic transcription factors. As a result, both inhibitors rescued myogenesis in myoblasts treated with GDF8. As revealed by quantitative live cell microscopy, treatment with dorsomorphin or LDN-193189 promoted the contractile activity of myotubular networks in vitro. We therefore suggest these inhibitors as suitable tools to promote functional myogenesis.

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Cat.No. Product Name Information Publications Customer Product Validation
S2618 LDN-193189 LDN-193189 (DM3189) is a selective BMP signaling inhibitor, inhibits the ALK1, ALK2, ALK3 and ALK6 with IC50s of 0.8 nM, 0.8 nM, 5.3 nM and 16.7 nM in the kinase assay, respectively. LDN-193189 inhibits the transcriptional activity of the BMP type I receptors ALK2 and ALK3 with IC50s of 5 nM and 30 nM in C2C12 cells, respectively, exhibits 200-fold selectivity for BMP versus TGF-β. For animal testing, the water-soluble S7507 LDN-193189 2HCl is recommended. (163) (5)

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