BACKGROUND : Activation of hepatic stellate cells is the dominant pathogenic event during the process of liver fibrosis. Bone morphogenic protein (BMP)-7 has recently been identified as an anti-fibrotic factor and leads to phosphorylation of Smad1/5/8 in activated hepatic stellate cells. Its expression can be upregulated by the transcriptional activator, Y-Box protein-1 (YB1). Previous studies have found that the recombinant Schistosoma japonicum protein p40 (rSjp40) can inhibit the activation of hepatic stellate cells, and based on this evidence we attempted to investigate whether or not BMP-7 is involved in rSjp40's inhibition. METHODS : A human hepatic stellate cell line, the LX-2 cell line, was cultured and treated with rSjp40. The role of BMP-7 was analyzed by Western blot. RESULTS : Our findings testified that knockdown of BMP-7 impaired rSjp40-induced downregulation of α-SMA and phosphorylation of Smad1/5/8 in LX-2 cells. Furthermore, rSjp40 upregulated expression of BMP-7 at both mRNA and protein levels depending on YB1. Interestingly, YB1 was translocated from the cytoplasm to the nucleus upon treatment of rSjp40. CONCLUSIONS : These results suggest that rSjp40 inhibits the activation of hepatic stellate cells by promoting nuclear translocation of YB1 and inducing BMP-7/Smad1/5/8 pathway, which provide a new clue to guide ongoing research into the anti-fibrosis of rSjp40.