Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells offer an attractive model to study the disease, because researchers can take cells from the patient that are unaffected by FOP and then reprogram the cells into soft tissue cells for study. Researchers at the Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA), Kyoto University, took advantage of this strategy by reprogramming FOP patient cells and then seeking candidate molecules that could explain how the disease initiates.
The researchers focused on bone morphogenetic proteins (BMP). BMP are what stimulate bone healing after a fracture or break. However, in FOP patients, BMP signaling appears hyperactive. "There are two popular theories," explains Makoto Ikeya, an associate professor at CiRA involved in the study. "In one, BMP signaling is always active. In the other, BMP signaling is abnormally strong when activated."...read more @ http://www.scitechnol.com/spine-neurosurgery.php
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