Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) are members of the transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) family that signal via type I and type II serine/threonine kinase receptors and intracellular Smad transcription factors. BMPs are multifunctional regulators of development and tissue homeostasis and they were initially characterized as inducers of bone regeneration. Genetic studies in humans and mice showed that perturbations in BMP signaling lead to various diseases, such as skeletal diseases, vascular diseases and cancer. Mutations in BMP type II receptor and BMP type I receptor/activin receptor-like kinase 1 have been linked to pulmonary arterial hypertension and hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia, respectively. BMPs have also been implicated in promoting vascular calcification and tumor angiogenesis. In this review we discuss the role of BMP signaling in vascular diseases and the value of BMP signaling as a vascular disease marker or a therapeutic target.
Copyright © 2012 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.