Bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP-2) has been used clinically to encourage bone regeneration; although, there can be major side effects with larger doses. Therefore, there is a need to identify new small molecules to potentiate the osteogenic action of BMP-2. In this study, we investigated the effect of mollugin on bone formation in murine bi-potential mesenchymal progenitor C2C12 cells by combination with BMP-2. We found mollugin could enhance the BMP-2-mediated osteoblast differentiation of C2C12 cells. This was accompanied by the induction of other osteogenic BMPs. We also found the enhancing potential of mollugin may involve activation of the p38–Smad1/5/8 signaling axis. Furthermore, mollugin promoted skeletal development in zebrafish. The combination of BMP-2 with small molecules, including mollugin, could minimize its clinical limitations, and these molecules might lead to the development of effective stem cell stimulants for bone regeneration and fracture healing.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Medicine
- Drug Discovery
- Organic Chemistry