Background: Recombinant bone morphogenetic protein two (rhBMP2) has been utilised for a variety of clinical applications in orthopaedic surgery and dental procedures. Despite its widespread use, concerns have been raised regarding its short half-life and transient bioactivity in vivo. Recent investigation aimed at developing rhBMP2 synthesized from a shorter polypeptide chain (108 amino acids) has been undertaken.
Methods: The osteopromotive properties of BMP2 were investigated on cell behaviour. Five concentrations of rhBMP2_108 including 10, 50, 100, 200 and 500 ng/ml were compared to a commercially available rhBMP2 (100 ng/ml). Each of the working concentrations of rhBMP2_108 were investigated on MC3T3-E1 osteoblasts for their ability to induce osteoblast recruitment, proliferation and differentiation as assessed by alkaline phosphatase (ALP) staining, alizarin red staining, and real-time PCR for genes encoding ALP, osteocalcin (OCN), collagen-1 (COL-1) and Runx2.
Results: The results demonstrate that all concentrations of rhBMP2_108 significantly improved cell recruitment and proliferation of osteoblasts at 5 days post seeding. Furthermore, rhBMP2_108 had the most pronounced effects on osteoblast differentiation. It was found that rhBMP2_108 had over a four fold significant increase in ALP activity at seven and 14 days post-seeding and the concentrations ranging from 50 to 200 ng/ml demonstrated the most pronounced effects. Analysis of real-time PCR for genes encoding ALP, OCN, COL-1 and Runx2 further confirmed dose-dependant increases at 14 days post-seeding. Furthermore, alizarin red staining demonstrated a concentration dependant increase in staining at 14 days.
Conclusion: The results from the present study demonstrate that this shorter polypeptide chain of rhBMP2_108 is equally as bioactive as commercially available rhBMP2 for the recruitment of progenitor cells by facilitating their differentiation towards the osteoblast lineage. Future in vivo study are necessary to investigate its bioactivity.