eCM (Eur Cell Mater / e Cells & Materials) Not-for-profit Open Access
Created by Scientists, for Scientists
 ISSN:1473-2262         NLM:100973416 (link)         DOI:10.22203/eCM

2018   Volume No 35 – pages 195-208

Title: Bone formation by heterodimers through non-viral gene delivery of BMP-2/6 and BMP-2/7

Authors: LD Loozen, A Vandersteen, AHM Kragten, FC Öner, WJA Dhert, MC Kruyt, J Alblas

Address:  Department of Orthopaedics, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Room G05.228, Heidelberglaan 100, 3584 CX Utrecht, the Netherlands

E-mail: j.alblas at

Abstract: Non-viral gene delivery is a safe technique to release sustained physiologic dosages of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP). Co-delivery of multiple BMPs can result in the formation of more potent BMP heterodimers. In this study, non-viral co-delivery of BMP-2/6 and BMP-2/7, as a mean to produce heterodimers, was assessed.
        Goat MSCs were non-virally transfected with plasmid DNA encoding BMP isoforms (pBMP) known to be relevant for osteogenesis: BMP-2, -6 or -7. As a result, BMP-2, -6 and -7 were produced and detectable for up to 14 d and their combined delivery (pBMP-2 with pBMP-6 or pBMP-7) was used to create BMP-2/6 and BM-2/7 heterodimers. Formation and secretion of the heterodimer proteins was validated by sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Produced BMPs and heterodimers were biologically active, as confirmed by differentiation of reporter cells and MSCs. To assess bone formation, transfected MSCs were seeded on to ceramic scaffolds and implanted subcutaneously into nude mice. Bone formation was significantly enhanced in the pBMP-2/6 condition and a trend for more bone formation was observed in the pBMP-2/7 and pBMP-6 homodimer condition. No bone was found in the pBMP-2, pBMP-7 or control condition.
        In conclusion, simultaneous delivery of pBMP-2 with pBMP-6 or -7 resulted in the production of heterodimers that were beneficial for bone formation as compared to BMP homodimers. Combination of BMP sequences could reduce the need for high BMP protein dosages and might enhance prolonged availability of the growth factors.

Key Words: Heterodimers, bone morphogenetic protein, non-viral gene delivery, bone regeneration.

Publication date: March 28th 2018

Article download: Pages 195-208 (PDF file)

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