Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) comprise the largest subfamily of the transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) superfamily of secreted proteins. Evidence for the involvement of BMPs in metanephric development emerged recently when renal phenotypes were observed in BMP7 null mutant mice. Since then, several other BMPs, BMP receptor serine/threonine kinases and BMP signal transduction molecules (Smads) have been implicated in mammalian metanephric development. It appears that particular BMPs have pivotal roles in specific aspects of metanephric development. Current knowledge and evidence of specific roles of particular BMPs are presented in this review.
Copyright 2003 S. Karger AG, Basel