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Cytokine Growth Factor Rev. 2012 Feb-Apr;23(1-2):61-7. doi: 10.1016/j.cytogfr.2012.02.001. Epub 2012 Mar 13.

The signaling and functions of heterodimeric bone morphogenetic proteins.

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Department of Oral Cell Biology, Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam (ACTA), Research Institute MOVE, VU University and University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Heterodimeric bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) consist of disulfide-linked dimeric monomers derived from different BMP members. Owing to this specific constitution pattern, they bear high affinity to both type I and type II BMP receptors simultaneously. Meanwhile, the antagonism efficiency of extracellular antagonists to heterodimeric BMPs is also significantly lower than that to homodimeric ones. All these specific properties confer heterodimeric BMPs with distinct signaling and bio-functions that are characterized by more speediness, lower concentration/dose threshold and higher efficiency than homodimeric BMPs. Consequently, heterodimeric BMPs bear promising application potential in inducing osteogenesis. In addition, they may play indispensible roles in organogenesis. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge of heterodimeric BMPs in their signaling pathways and bio-functions.

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