Indexed on: 28 Jun '11Published on: 28 Jun '11Published in: Growth factors (Chur, Switzerland)
Ectopic expression of recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein 2 (rhBMP2) induces osteogenesis, while ectopic expression of rhBMP12 and rhBMP13 induces the formation of tendon-like tissue. Despite their different in vivo activities, all three ligands bound to the type I bone morphogenic protein receptors (BMPRs), activin receptor-like kinase (ALK)-3 and ALK6, and to the type II BMPRs, activin receptor type-2A, activin receptor type-2B, and BMPR2, with similar affinities. Treatment of C3H10T1/2 cells with rhBMP2 activated SMAD signaling and induced expression of osteoblast markers including osteocalcin mRNA (Ocn). In contrast, treatment with rhBMP12 or rhBMP13 resulted in a dose-dependent induction of a tendon-specific gene (Thbs4) expression with no detectable activation of SMAD 1, 5, and 8. Differential regulation of Thbs4 and Ocn has potential utility as an in vitro biomarker for induction of tenogenic signaling. Such an assay also permits the ability to distinguish between the activities of different BMPs and may prove useful in studies on the molecular mechanisms of BMP tenogenic activity.