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Leuk Lymphoma. 2002 Mar;43(3):635-9.

Bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)-2 induces apoptosis in human myeloma cells.

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  • 1Division of Hematology, Keio University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.


BMPs (bone morphogenetic proteins), members of the transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta superfamily, are a group of related proteins which are capable of inducing the formation of cartilage and bone, but are now regarded as multifunctional cytokines. However, little is known about their role in hematopoiesis. Recently, we found a novel function of BMPs to hematopoietic cells in that BMP-2 induces apoptosis not only in human myeloma cell lines, but also in primary samples from patients with multiple myeloma in vitro. BMP-2 caused cell cycle arrest in the G1 phase which was associated with accumulation of p21CIP1/WAF1 and p27KIP1, and the subsequent apoptosis of myeloma cells. Further analysis showed that BMP-2 induced down-regulation of Bcl-X(L) through the inactivation of STAT3, resulting in the induction of apoptosis in myeloma cells. We conclude that BMP-2 may have the potential to be one of the novel therapeutic agents for treatment in patients with multiple myeloma because of the beneficial effects on both myeloma cells and bone diseases. In this review, we summarize data concerning BMPs and BMP-2-induced apoptosis of myeloma cells including our own recent experimental data.

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