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Bone morphogenetic protein

Apr 04, 2017

Bone morphogenetic protein

Bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) which is a group of cytokines known as growth factors for their contribution in growth of bones and cartilage, has been found out to be responsible for morphogenetic signals and thereby, controlling the tissue architecture in the body. BMP signalling is popular in both physiological and pathological processes. However in pathological processes, care should be taken as both absence and excess of BMP signalling can prove counterproductive. Examples of progression of colon cancer due to lack of BMP signalling and formation of adenocarcinoma in case of over activation of it has been seen. Besides, BMPs are used for various orthopaedic applications.

Seven types of BMPs were discovered out of which six belong to beta superfamily of proteins while one of them is metalloprotease, that being, BMP-1. Later, however, thirteen more were identified to raise the number to a flaunting twenty. BMPs interact with bone morphogenetic protein receptors (BMPRs) present on the cell surface to induce signals and cause mobilization of members of the SMAD family of proteins. This process plays a vital role in the cardiac system, central nervous system and especially, in embryonic development and skeletal formation.

It should be noted that only two types of Recombinant Human BMPs have been approved by FDA, namely, rhBMP-2 and rhBMP-7. Though most rhBMPs are found to be effective in case of oral surgeries, spinal fusions and nonunions, rhBMP-7 has been used in the treatment of chronic kidney diseases and as an alternative to autograft in long bone nonunions. It should, however, be taken into account that 85% of the rhBMP usages are off label, i.e., they are used without authorisation or license. Most of the off-label usages include lumbar spinal fusion techniques like posterior cervical fusions and tibia nonunions. Also, considering the fact that mutations in BMPs can cause various disorders in the body, care should be taken while using BMPs.

Disclaimer: The information given in this write-up is purely for educating the reader. It is not meant to be a substitute for any advice from a medical expert.

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