BMP signaling in development and diseases: A pharmacological perspective

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Bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling has been implicated in several processes during embryonic development and in adult tissue homeostasis. Maintenance of many organs such as skin, intestinal villi, bones and bone marrow requires continuous regeneration and subsequent differentiation of stem cells in order to maintain organ shape and size necessary for proper functioning. Although BMPs were initially identified as osteogenic factors present in demineralized bone capable of inducing ectopic bone formation, it is now evident that BMPs perform several other functions during embryonic development as well as during the adult life of an organism. Many disorders have been linked to either the BMPs or the molecules functioning downstream of BMP signaling pathway. This review summarizes the existing literature describing the role of BMP signaling during embryonic development and in adult tissue homeostasis to provide a perspective on pharmacological interventions of BMP signaling pathway to mitigate several disease conditions.

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