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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

The role of FGF-2 and BMP-2 in regulation of gene induction, cell proliferation and mineralization

Millie Hughes-Fulford1234* and Chai-Fei Li4

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Research, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 4150 Clement Street, San Francisco, CA 94121, USA

2 Department of Medicine, University of California, 4150 Clement Street, San Francisco,, CA 94121, USA

3 Department of Urology, University of California, 4150 Clement Street, San Francisco,, CA 94121, USA

4 Hughes-Fulford Laboratory, Northern California Institute for Research and Education, 4150 Clement Street, San Francisco, CA 94121, USA

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Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research 2011, 6:8  doi:10.1186/1749-799X-6-8

Published: 9 February 2011

Abstract

Introduction

The difficulty in re-growing and mineralizing new bone after severe fracture can result in loss of ambulation or limb. Here we describe the sequential roles of FGF-2 in inducing gene expression, cell growth and BMP-2 in gene expression and mineralization of bone.

Materials and methods

The regulation of gene expression was determined using real-time RTPCR (qRTPCR) and cell proliferation was measured by thymidine incorporation or fluorescent analysis of DNA content in MC3T3E1 osteoblast-like cells. Photomicroscopy was used to identify newly mineralized tissue and fluorescence was used to quantify mineralization.

Results

Fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2) had the greatest ability to induce proliferation after 24 hours of treatment when compared to transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ, insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), bone morphogenic protein (BMP-2), platelet derived growth factor (PDGF) or prostaglandin E2 (PGE2). We found that FGF-2 caused the most significant induction of expression of early growth response-1 (egr-1), fgf-2, cyclo-oxygenase-2 (cox-2), tgfβ and matrix metalloproteinase-3 (mmp-3) associated with proliferation and expression of angiogenic genes like vascular endothelial growth factor A (vegfA) and its receptor vegfr1. We found that FGF-2 significantly reduced gene expression associated with mineralization, e.g. collagen type-1 (col1a1), fibronectin (fn), osteocalcin (oc), IGF-1, noggin, bone morphogenic protein (bmp-2) and alkaline phosphatase (alp). In contrast, BMP-2 significantly stimulated expression of the mineralization associated genes but had little or no effect on gene expression associated with growth.

Conclusions

The ability of FGF-2 to re-program a mineralizing gene expression profile to one of proliferation suggests that FGF-2 plays a critical role of osteoblast growth in early fracture repair while BMP-2 is instrumental in stimulating mineralization.