John C. Lee, PhD, Distinguished Teaching Professor
Our major research interest focuses on elucidation of the molecular mechanism of action of Bone Morphogenetic Protein -7 (BMP-7, also called Osteogenic Protein-1 (OP-1). BMP-7 is a member of the BMP family of proteins, consisting of about 20 structurally related proteins. BMPs belong to the transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-Ã¯ï¿½Â¢) superfamily. Most BMPs exhibit multiple functions in various tissues during embryogenesis and development. For example, BMP-7 induces differentiation, growth, and repair of bone, cartilage, and tendon/ligament cells. Clinical studies show that implantation of BMP-7 into fracture or wound sites in adults results in improved repair/healing. BMP-7 is essential in the development of the eye, the kidney, and the nerve system and in the repair of these tissues in adults. Recent projects in the laboratory include (1) structural analysis of the interactions between BMP-7 and its receptors (using a combination of biochemical and biophysical methodologies, such as NMR spectroscopy, fluorescence spectroscopy, computational analysis, and molecular genetics) in order to understand the specificity of the ligand-receptor interaction, (2) analysis of the genes that are activated or inactivated by BMP-7 (using different molecular approaches, including DNA microarray analysis) and their mode of regulation, as well as (3) analysis of the functional relationships between BMP-7 and other proteins and signaling molecules, such as IGF-I.
- Bone morphogenetic protein-7 regulates differentially the mRNA expression of bone morphogenetic proteins and their receptors in rat achilles and patellar tendon cell cultures.
Yeh LC, Tsai AD, Lee JC
J Cell Biochem: 2008-08-15; 104(6); 2107-22
PMID: 18393351   LINK:
- Characterization of ligand-binding properties of the human BMP type II receptor extracellular domain.
Yin H, Yeh LC, Hinck AP, Lee JC
J Mol Biol: 2008-04-18; 378(1); 191-203 Epub: 2008-03-04.
PMID: 18342887   LINK:
- Co-transfection with the osteogenic protein (OP)-1 gene and the insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I gene enhanced osteoblastic cell differentiation.
Yeh LC, Lee JC
Biochim Biophys Acta: 2006-01-01; 1763(1); 57-63 Epub: 2005-12-05.
PMID: 16364466   LINK:
- Sequential resonance assignment of the human BMP type II receptor extracellular domain.
Yin H, Ilangovan U, Hinck AP, Lee JC
J Biomol NMR: 2005-08-01; 32(4); 336
PMID: 16211489   LINK:
- Identification of an osteogenic protein-1 (bone morphogenetic protein-7)-responsive element in the promoter of the rat insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-5 gene.
Yeh LC, Lee JC
Endocrinology: 2000-09-01; 141(9); 3278-86
PMID: 10965899   LINK:
Complete Publication Listing
Lee-Chuan Caroline Yeh, PhD, Assistant Professor/Research