Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) are secreted extracellular matrix (ECM)-associated proteins that regulate a wide range of developmental processes, including limb and kidney formation. A critical element of BMP regulation is the presence of secreted antagonists that bind and inhibit BMP binding to their cognate Ser/Thr kinase receptors at the plasma membrane. Antagonists such as Noggin, Chordin, Gremlin (Grem1), and twisted gastrulation-1 (Twsg1) have been shown to inhibit BMP action in a range of different cell types and developmental stage-specific contexts. Here we review new developments in the field of BMP and BMP antagonist biology during mammalian development and suggest strategies for targeting these proteins in human disease.
Keywords: Gremlin; antagonist; bone morphogenetic proteins; disease; miRNA.
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