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Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2003 May;284(5):E972-9. Epub 2003 Jan 14.

BMP-2 inhibits proliferation of human aortic smooth muscle cells via p21Cip1/Waf1.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Clinical Nutrition and Vascular Medicine, University of California-Davis, UC Davis Medical Center, 4150 V Street, PSSB G400, Sacramento, CA 95817, USA. gawong@ucdavis.edu


Bone-morphogenetic proteins (BMP)-2 and -7, multifunctional members of the transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta superfamily with powerful osteoinductive effects, cause cell cycle arrest in a variety of transformed cell lines by activating signaling cascades that involve several cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors (CDKIs). CDKIs in the cip/kip family, p21(Cip1/Waf1) and p27(Kip1), have been shown to negatively regulate the G1 cyclins and their partner cyclin-dependent kinase proteins, resulting in BMP-mediated growth arrest. Bone morphogens have also been associated with antiproliferative effects in vascular tissue by unknown mechanisms. We now show that BMP-2-mediated inhibition of platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-stimulated human aortic smooth muscle cell (HASMC) proliferation is accompanied by increased levels of p21 protein. Antisense oligodeoxynucleotides specific for p21 attenuate BMP-2-induced inhibition of proliferation when transfected into HASMCs, demonstrating that BMP-2 inhibits PDGF-stimulated proliferation of HASMCs through induction of p21. Whether p21-mediated induction of cell cycle arrest by BMP-2 sets the stage for osteogenic differentiation of vascular smooth muscle cells, ultimately leading to vascular mineralization, remains to be investigated.

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