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Bone morphogenetic protein-5, -6 and -7 inhibit growth and induce apoptosis in human myeloma cells


Previously, bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)-2 and -4 have been shown to inhibit proliferation and induce apoptosis in human myeloma cells. BMP-2 and -4 belong to a subgroup of BMPs using the BMP receptors Alk-3 or -6. In this study, we examined the effects on human myeloma cells of BMP-6 and -7, members of a different BMP subgroup, which mainly utilize Alk-2 as their receptor. All cell lines examined expressed mRNA for the BMP-6 and -7 receptor Alk-2. We did not detect transcripts for the BMP-2 and -4 receptors Alk-3 or Alk-6 in INA-6 and RPMI-8226 cells by RT–PCR. Accordingly, the intracellular signalling molecules Smad-1, -5 and -8 were not phosphorylated by BMP-4 in INA-6 and RPMI-8226 cells. The expression patterns of various BMP receptors in the myeloma cell lines explained the differences in responses to the various BMPs. Alk-2-expressing cell lines responded with growth inhibition and apoptosis to BMP-6 and -7, whereas cell lines lacking both Alk-3 and -6 were resistant to BMP-4. Soluble Alk-3 and -6 were able to neutralize the BMP-4 effects in BMP-4-responsive cell lines. All BMPs reduced viability in more than 70% of purified primary myeloma cell samples. BMPs have intriguing antitumor effects in vitro. Importantly, myeloma cells not responsive to BMP-2 and -4 may still be sensitive to BMP-6 or -7. It is possible that therapeutic use of BMP or BMP analogues could have an impact on both myeloma bone disease and myeloma cell growth.

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We thank Hanne Hella, Berit F Stordal and Siv H Moen for excellent technical assistance. This study was supported by grants from The Norwegian Cancer Society, The Cancer Fund of St Olav's Hospital and The Norwegian Research Council.

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Correspondence to Torstein Baade Ro.

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Baade Ro, T., Utne Holt, R., Brenne, AT. et al. Bone morphogenetic protein-5, -6 and -7 inhibit growth and induce apoptosis in human myeloma cells. Oncogene 23, 3024–3032 (2004).

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  • BMP-5
  • BMP-6
  • BMP-7
  • myeloma
  • apoptosis

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