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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2005 Apr 15;329(3):1076-86.

Crystal structure of recombinant human growth and differentiation factor 5: evidence for interaction of the type I and type II receptor-binding sites.

By: Schreuder H, Liesum A, Pohl J, Kruse M, Koyama M.

The crystal structure of human growth differentiation factor 5 (GDF5) was solved at 2.4A resolution. The structure is very similar to the structure of bone morphogenetic factor 7 (BMP7) and consists of two banana-shaped monomers, linked via a disulfide bridge. The crystal packing of GDF5 is the same as the crystal packing of BMP7. This is highly unusual since only 25-30% of the crystal contacts involve identical residues. Analysis of the crystal packing revealed that residues of the type I receptor epitope are binding to residues of the type II receptor-binding epitope. The fact that for both BMP family members the type I and type II receptor-binding sites interact suggests that the complementary sites on the receptors may interact as well, suggesting a way how preformed receptor heterodimers may form, similar to the preformed receptors observed for the erythropoietin receptor and the BMP2 receptors.


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