Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva: mechanisms and models of skeletal metamorphosis.Dis Model Mech. 2012 Nov; 5(6):756-62.DM
Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP; MIM #135100) is a debilitating genetic disorder of connective tissue metamorphosis. It is characterized by malformation of the great (big) toes during embryonic skeletal development and by progressive heterotopic endochondral ossification (HEO) postnatally, which leads to the formation of a second skeleton of heterotopic bone. Individuals with these classic clinical features of FOP have the identical heterozygous activating mutation (c.617G>A; R206H) in the gene encoding ACVR1 (also known as ALK2), a bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) type I receptor. Disease activity caused by this ACVR1 mutation also depends on altered cell and tissue physiology that can be best understood in the context of a high-fidelity animal model. Recently, we developed such a knock-in mouse model for FOP (Acvr1(R206H/+)) that recapitulates the human disease, and provides a valuable new tool for testing and developing effective therapies. The FOP knock-in mouse and other models in Drosophila, zebrafish, chickens and mice provide an arsenal of tools for understanding BMP signaling and addressing outstanding questions of disease mechanisms that are relevant not only to FOP but also to a wide variety of disorders associated with regenerative medicine and tissue metamorphosis.