The ligand-receptor complex of GDF5 bound to its type I and type II receptors BRIB and ActRIIB was produced and crystallized. Crystals of the GDF5-BRIB complex could only be obtained if a ternary complex comprising GDF5, BRIB and the extracellular domain of the type II receptor ActRIIB was used in crystallization; however, the type II receptor ActRIIB was lost during crystallization. Crystals of this complex belonged to the tetragonal space group P4(2)2(1)2, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 76.46, c = 82.78 A. Small changes in the crystallization condition resulted in crystals with a different morphology. These crystals consisted of the full ternary complex GDF5-BRIB-ActRIIB, but only diffracted to low resolution.