Characterization of platelet bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)-4 in atherothrombosis

Institution: Department of Cardiology and Angiology I, Heart Center Freiburg University, Faculty of Medicine, University of Freiburg, Germany
Applicant: PD Dr. Qian Zhou
Funding line:
First and Second Applications
BMP in cardiovascular diseases

Platelet activation is an important step in hemostasis. However, uncontrolled activation of platelets may be fatal, since clotting can result in the formation of pathogenic thrombi leading to occlusion of blood vessels. In patients with coronary heart disease, atherothrombus formation is often the cause of the acute coronary syndrome. While clinical use of anti-platelet therapy already belongs to the routine therapy of coronary heart disease, the underlying molecular mechanism of athero-thrombosis is still not fully understood.
Bone Morphogenetic Proteins (BMPs) are a group of proteins, which were initially identified by their ability to induce ectopic bone formation. During the past years, increasing data also demonstrate that BMP signaling is important in mediating blood vessel formation, hematopoiesis and inflammation. Our group has been focusing on BMPs for many years, and in the current project we aimed to unravel its role on platelet function in health and disease conditions. Data obtained from this project may open new possibilities in the prevention and therapy of atherothrombosis.