Faculty Advisor

Adams, David S.


Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMP) are a family of effector genes that control bone cell differentiation (osteogenesis). Recently, mutations in homeodomain (HD) proteins have been linked to bone-related defects in humans and mice, but the precise mechanism by which HD proteins contribute to bone formation is unclear. We investigated the ex vivo expression profiles of two BMP2- inducible HD proteins Msx2 and Dix3. We also used two in vitro mouse models to determine the Msx2, which in the presence of BMP2, can partially induce osteogenesis in progenitor cells, while Dix3 accelerates the differentiation of committed osteoblasts. These results suggest that Msx2 and Dix3 may promote osteoblast differentiation by targeting distinct osteoblast subpopulations.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

January 2004


Biology and Biotechnology

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project


Restricted-WPI community only

Advisor Department

Biology and Biotechnology