BMP signalling: agony and antagony in the family

Trends Cell Biol. 2015 May;25(5):249-64. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2014.12.004. Epub 2015 Jan 12.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / chemistry*
  • Mice
  • MicroRNAs / chemistry*
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Signal Transduction*


  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins
  • GREM1 protein, human
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • MicroRNAs