The role of BMPs in endothelial cell function and dysfunction

Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2014 Sep;25(9):472-80. doi: 10.1016/j.tem.2014.05.003. Epub 2014 Jun 4.


The bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) family of proteins has a multitude of roles throughout the body. In embryonic development, BMPs promote endothelial specification and subsequent venous differentiation. The BMP pathway also plays important roles in the adult vascular endothelium, promoting angiogenesis and mediating shear and oxidative stress. The canonical BMP pathway functions through the Smad transcription factors; however, other intracellular signaling cascades can be activated, and receptor complexes beyond the traditional type I and type II receptors add additional layers of regulation. Dysregulated BMP signaling has been linked to vascular diseases including pulmonary hypertension and atherosclerosis. This review addresses recent advances in the roles of BMP signaling in the endothelium and how BMPs affect endothelial dysfunction and human disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Atherosclerosis / etiology
  • Atherosclerosis / metabolism
  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein Receptors / agonists
  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein Receptors / genetics
  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein Receptors / metabolism*
  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins / genetics
  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins / metabolism*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / cytology
  • Endothelium, Vascular / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / metabolism
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / etiology
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / metabolism
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Models, Biological*
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / etiology
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / metabolism
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Protein Isoforms / genetics
  • Protein Isoforms / metabolism
  • Shear Strength
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Stress, Physiological
  • Vascular Diseases / etiology
  • Vascular Diseases / metabolism*


  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins
  • Protein Isoforms
  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein Receptors