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International Journal of Zoology
Volume 2013, Article ID 787323, 9 pages
Research Article

Studies on the Pinctada fucata BMP-2 Gene: Structural Similarity and Functional Conservation of Its Osteogenic Potential within the Animal Kingdom

Department of Genetic Engineering, Faculty of Biology-Oriented Science and Technology, Kinki University, Nishimitani 930, Kinokawa City, Wakayama 649-6493, Japan

Received 26 December 2012; Accepted 5 March 2013

Academic Editor: Greg Demas

Copyright © 2013 Akiko Takami et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)-2 plays an important role in morphogenesis in both vertebrates and invertebrates. BMP-2 is one of the most powerful bioactive substances known to induce the osteogenic differentiation of mesenchymal cells. We examined the structural and functional conservation of Pinctada fucata BMP-2 in inducing osteogenesis in the murine mesenchymal stem cells, C3H10T1/2. Exposure of C3H10T1/2 cells to the recombinant mature fragment of Pinctada fucata BMP-2 resulted in osteoblastic differentiation. The sequence, SVPKPCCVPTELSSL, within the C-terminal portion of Pinctada fucata BMP-2, is homologous to the knuckle epitope of human BMP-2. This synthetic polypeptide was able to induce differentiation of C3H10T1/2 along the osteoblastic lineage, as confirmed by an increase in alkaline phosphatase activity, and the accumulation of calcium, as determined by von Kossa staining. Furthermore, using immunohistochemical staining, we observed an increased expression of collagen type I, osteopontin, and osteocalcin, which are known markers of osteogenesis. These results show that BMP-2 is conserved, not only in terms of its homology at the amino acid sequence, but also in terms of driving the formation of hard tissues in vertebrates and invertebrates.