Role of BMP family members during kidney development
Published: 1 August 1999
R E Godin, E J Robertson and A T Dudley
Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA.
Members of the Bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) family have been shown to be important signaling molecules throughout mouse development. Accordingly, many BMPs are also expressed during organogenesis of the metanephric kidney. However, only BMP7 has been shown to be absolutely required for proper formation of the kidney, thus the majority of information known involves this family member. BMP7 is expressed in both the ureteric epithelium and the mesenchyme throughout embryonic development and has been shown to function as a survival factor for the nephrogenic mesenchyme. However, there has been some controversy over the role of BMP7 as an inducing molecule for the metanephric mesenchyme. Recent studies have shown that BMP7 functions as an anti-differentiation factor for this mesenchyme cell population. The function of BMPs in the ureter and in the more differentiated epithelial structures of the nephron is less well understood.