Sulfated glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) can direct cellular processes by interacting with proteins of the extracellular matrix (ECM). In this study we characterize the interaction profiles of chemically sulfated hyaluronan (HA) and chondroitin sulfate (CS) derivatives with bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2) and investigate their relevance for complex formation with the receptor BMPR-IA. These goals were addressed by surface plasmon resonance (SPR) and ELISA in combination with molecular modeling and dynamics simulation. We found not only the interaction of BMP-2 with GAGs to be dependent on the type and sulfation of GAGs but also BMP-2/GAG/BMPR-IA complex formation. The conformational plasticity of the BMP-2 N-termini plays a key role in the structural and thermodynamic characteristics of the BMP-2/GAG/BMPR-IA system. Hence we propose a model that provides direct insights into the importance of the structural and dynamical properties of the BMP-2/BMPR-IA system for its regulation by sulfated GAGs, in which structural asymmetry plays a key role.