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Cancer Biol Ther. 2011 Mar 1;11(5):457-63. Epub 2011 Mar 1.

BMP-2 inhibits the tumorigenicity of cancer stem cells in human osteosarcoma OS99-1 cell line.

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Spine Research Laboratory, Department of Neurosurgery, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, USA.


Previously, based on high ALDH activity, we showed that cancer stem cells (CSCs) could be identified as ALDH(br) cells from an aggressive human osteosarcoma OS99-1 cell line. In this study, we evaluate the impact of BMP-2 on CSCs.Three types of BMP receptors were expressed in freshly sorted ALDH(br) cells. In vitro, growth of the sorted ALDH(br) cells was inhibited by BMP-2. Using RT-PCR analysis, BMP-2 was found to down-regulate the expression of embryonic stem cell markers Oct3/4, Nanog, and Sox-2, and up-regulate the transcription of osteogenic markers Runx-2 and Collagen Type I. In vivo, all animals receiving ALDH(br) cells treated with BMP-2 did not form significant tumors, while untreated ALDH(br) cells developed large tumor masses in NOD/SCID mice. Immunostaining confirmed few Ki-67 positive cells were present in the sections of tumor containing ALDH(br) cells treated with BMP-2. These results suggest that BMP-2 suppresses tumor growth by reducing the gene expression of tumorigenic factors and inducing the differentiation of CSCs in osteosarcoma. BMP-2 or BMP-2-mimetic drugs, if properly delivered to tumor and combined with traditional therapies, may therefore provide a new therapeutic option for treatment of osteosarcoma.

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