BMP receptor 1A determines the cell fate of the postnatal growth plate

Junjun Jing, Yinshi Ren, Zhaowen Zong, Chuanju Liu, Nobuhiro Kamiya, Yuji Mishina, Ying Liu, Xuedong Zhou, Jian Q. Feng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Bone morphogenic proteins (BMPs) are critical for both chondrogenesis and osteogenesis. Previous studies reported that embryos deficient in Bmp receptor (Bmpr)1a or Bmpr1b in cartilage display subtle skeletal defects; however, double mutant embryos develop severe skeletal defects, suggesting a functional redundancy that is essential for early chondrogenesis. In this study, we examined the postnatal role of Bmpr1a in cartilage. In the Bmpr1a conditional knockout (cKO, a cross between Bmpr1a flox and aggrecan-CreERT2 induced by a one-time-tamoxifen injection at birth and harvested at ages of 2, 4, 8 and 20 weeks), there was essentially no long bone growth with little expression of cartilage markers such as SOX9, IHH and glycoproteins. Unexpectedly, the null growth plate was replaced by bone-like tissues, supporting the notions that the progenitor cells in the growth plate, which normally form cartilage, can form other tissues such as bone and fibrous; and that BMPR1A determines the cell fate. A working hypothesis is proposed to explain the vital role of BMPR1A in postnatal chondrogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)895-906
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Biological Sciences
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 18 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • BMPR1A
  • Cell fate
  • Chondrogenesis
  • Endochondral Bone
  • Growth plate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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