BPM-3, a Negataive Determinant of Bone Density

BACKGROUND: Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) are members of the TGFb superfamily, a large family of growth factors with varied functions. BMPs induce the formation of cartilage and bone by influencing cell proliferation, differentiation, morphogenesis and apoptosis. BMP signaling activity is regulated by the relative amounts of different BMP family members, and of BMP antagonists, in a given tissue. This regulation in turn controls the development and maintenance of bone, including peak bone density, the most critical predisposing factor for fractures from osteoporosis.

DESCRIPTION: Researchers at the University of California have discovered that BMP3 acts as an antagonist to osteogenic BMPs. Specifically, BMP3 inhibits BMP-2 mediated differentiation of osteoprogenetor cells into ostoeoblasts. In addition, BMP3 mutant mice have twice as much trabecular bone as wild type littermates. Trabecular bone is porous bone found in joints such as the hip, and is commonly affected by osteoporosis. Thus BMP3, the most abundant BMP protein in adult bone, is a negative regulator of osteogenic differentiation in vitro and of peak bone density in vivo.

ADVANTAGES: Because BMP-3 negatively regulates bone density, inhibitors of BMP-3 may be useful in the development of therapeutics for osteoporosis.


* Development of BMP3 inhibitors by screening for molecules that inhibit BMP-3 function or the transcription or translation of BMP3.
* Treatment of osteoporosis using BMP3 inhibitors.

REFERENCE: 2000-153

Type of Offer: Licensing

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