BMP-2 inhibits proliferation of human aortic smooth muscle cells via p21Cip1/Waf1

Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2003 May;284(5):E972-9. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.00385.2002. Epub 2003 Jan 14.


Bone-morphogenetic proteins (BMP)-2 and -7, multifunctional members of the transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta superfamily with powerful osteoinductive effects, cause cell cycle arrest in a variety of transformed cell lines by activating signaling cascades that involve several cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors (CDKIs). CDKIs in the cip/kip family, p21(Cip1/Waf1) and p27(Kip1), have been shown to negatively regulate the G1 cyclins and their partner cyclin-dependent kinase proteins, resulting in BMP-mediated growth arrest. Bone morphogens have also been associated with antiproliferative effects in vascular tissue by unknown mechanisms. We now show that BMP-2-mediated inhibition of platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-stimulated human aortic smooth muscle cell (HASMC) proliferation is accompanied by increased levels of p21 protein. Antisense oligodeoxynucleotides specific for p21 attenuate BMP-2-induced inhibition of proliferation when transfected into HASMCs, demonstrating that BMP-2 inhibits PDGF-stimulated proliferation of HASMCs through induction of p21. Whether p21-mediated induction of cell cycle arrest by BMP-2 sets the stage for osteogenic differentiation of vascular smooth muscle cells, ultimately leading to vascular mineralization, remains to be investigated.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aorta / cytology*
  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein 2
  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins / pharmacology
  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins / physiology*
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Cell Line
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p21
  • Cyclins / genetics
  • Cyclins / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / cytology*
  • Oligonucleotides, Antisense / pharmacology
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor / pharmacology
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta*


  • BMP2 protein, human
  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein 2
  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins
  • CDKN1A protein, human
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p21
  • Cyclins
  • Oligonucleotides, Antisense
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta