Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) are members of the TGFbeta superfamily of cytokines that are involved in development, differentiation, and disease. In an analysis of normal ovarian surface epithelium (OSE) and ovarian cancer (OC) cells, we observed BMP4 mRNA expression and found that primary OC cells produce mature BMP4. In addition, each member of the downstream signaling pathway was expressed in primary OSE and OC cells. Smad1 was phosphorylated and underwent nuclear translocation in normal OSE and OC cells upon treatment with BMP4. Interestingly, the BMP target genes ID1 and ID3 were up-regulated 10- to 15-fold in primary OC cells, compared with a 2- to 3-fold increase in normal OSE. The growth of several primary OC cells was relatively unaltered by BMP4 treatment; however, long-term BMP4 treatment of primary OC cells resulted in decreased cell density as well as increased cell spreading and adherence. These data demonstrate the existence and putative function of BMP signaling in normal OSE and OC cells, and thus the continued examination of BMP4 signaling in the regulation of these two processes will be critical to further our current understanding of the role of BMP biology in OC pathogenesis.