Members of the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) family and their receptors (BMPRs and activin receptors-ActRs) promote the development of bones with a fine regulation of their expression. Mutations in BMPs or BMPRs cause several diseases, as shown in knockout mice, such as skeletal defects, familial primary pulmonary hypertension and neoplasias. Osteosarcoma is the most frequent primary malignant tumor of bone. Due to their importance in bone development, BMPs, BMPRs and ActRs could also play a role in osteosarcoma growth and development. Previous data have shown that the overexpression of the BMPR-II was related to poor prognosis in malignant and metastatic bone tumors. We evaluate by reverse transcription-linked polymerase chain reaction analysis (RT-PCR) the expression pattern of BMPs, BMPRs and ActRs in five different human osteosarcoma cell lines (MG63, G292, HOS, SaOS and U2). Moreover, we performed the mutational screening of the complete BMPR-II mRNA by automated sequencing of the correspondent cDNA to evaluate the presence of point mutations in osteosarcoma cell lines. All the osteosarcoma cell lines studied simultaneously expressed the BMPs, BMPRs and ActRs investigated. No mutations were detected in the BMPR-II cDNA. Our results suggest the presence of a mechanism involving the simultaneous activation of the BMPs and their receptors in osteosarcoma cell lines.