Addition of an oligoglutamate domain to bone morphogenic protein 2 confers binding to hydroxyapatite materials and induces osteoblastic signaling

Academic Article


  • Nonautologous bone grafts have limited osteoinductive potential and thus there is substantial interest in reconstituting these graft materials with osteogenic factors such as bone morphogenic protein 2 (BMP2). However, one limitation of this approach is that BMP2 is typically weakly bound to the graft, which can lead to side effects associated with BMP2 dissemination. In the current study we added a hydroxyapatite (HA)-binding domain onto BMP2 to increase coupling to the graft surface. A sequence consisting of eight glutamate residues (E8) was inserted into the C-terminus of BMP2, and the recombinant protein (rBMP2-E8) was expressed in E. coli. Compared with rBMP2, rBMP2-E8 displayed markedly enhanced binding to HA disks and was better retained on the disks following exposure to vigorous wash steps. Furthermore, rBMP2-E8 was purified using a heparin column, and evaluated for its capacity to stimulate osteoblastic cell signaling. Treatment of SAOS2 cells with rBMP2-E8 induced SMAD 1/5 activation, confirming that the protein retains activity. Collectively these results suggest that the E8 domain serves as an effective tool for improving rBMP2 coupling to graft materials. The increased retention of rBMP2-E8 on the graft surface is expected to prolong BMP2's osteoinductive activity within the graft site, while simultaneously reducing off-target effects.
  • Published In

  • PLoS One  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Curry AS; McPherson DT; Barlow AM; Pensa NW; Reddy MS; Bellis SL
  • Volume

  • 14
  • Issue

  • 5