Tempting fate: BMP signals for cardiac morphogenesis

Cytokine Growth Factor Rev. 2003 Feb;14(1):1-4. doi: 10.1016/s1359-6101(02)00053-9.


Heart muscle cell specification (cardiac myogenesis) and creating the four-chambered heart (cardiac morphogenesis) are subject to regulation, in certain model organisms, by bone morphogenetic proteins and their receptors. Extrapolation to mammals from organisms that develop outside the mother (flies, fish, frogs, and avians) has been confounded by very early lethality-at gastrulation-of many null alleles needed to prove cause-effect relations in this pathway. Here, we describe the use of lineage- or compartment-restricted null alleles as well as hypomorphic alleles, which circumvent these limitations and pinpoint novel essential functions for the bone morphogenetic protein cascade in mammalian cardiac development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein Receptors
  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins / genetics
  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins / metabolism*
  • Gene Targeting
  • Heart / growth & development*
  • Morphogenesis
  • Receptors, Growth Factor / genetics
  • Receptors, Growth Factor / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*


  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins
  • Receptors, Growth Factor
  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein Receptors