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Growth Factors and Cytokines Regulation of Cell Cycle

Background: Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) were first identified as molecules that can induce ectopic bone and cartilage formation (1,2). BMPs are synthesized as precursor proteins that are processed by cleavage to produce mature proteins. BMPs initiate signaling by binding to a receptor complex containing type I and type II serine/threonine receptor kinases that then phosphorylate Smad (mainly Smad1, 5 and 8), resulting in the translocation of Smad to the nucleus. BMP was also reported to activate MAPK pathways in some systems (3,4).