Signaling by TGF beta-related factors requires ligand-induced association between type I and type II transmembrane serine/threonine kinases. In Drosophila, the saxophone (sax) and thick veins (tkv) genes encode type I receptors that mediate signaling by decapentaplegic (dpp), a member of the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) subgroup of TGF beta-type factors. In this report, we demonstrate that the Drosophila punt gene encodes atr-II, a previously described type II receptor that on its own is able to bind activin but not BMP2, a vertebrate ortholog of dpp. Mutations in punt produce phenotypes similar to those exhibited by tkv, sax, and dpp mutants. Furthermore, punt will bind BMP2 in concert with tkv or sax, forming complexes with these receptors. We suggest that punt functions as a type II receptors for dpp and propose that BMP signaling in vertebrates may also involve sharing of type II receptors by diverse ligands.