Bone morphogenetic protein 7: a broad-spectrum growth factor with multiple target therapeutic potency.
Bone morphogenetic protein 7 (BMP7) is a member of the transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) superfamily of growth factors. In recent years, it has become clear that BMP7 is a very pleiotropic growth factor. As described in this review, it plays a pivotal role in the development of bone and kidney, and has only recently been demonstrated to also be crucially involved in differentiation of brown adipose tissue. Because BMP7 thus controls the development and maintenance of many physiological processes in the human body, aberrant expression of BMP7 is associated with a variety of diseases. This review gives a broad overview on the involvement of BMP7 in several pathological conditions, such as incomplete fracture healing, osteoarthritis, the development of bone metastases, renal fibrosis and obesity. Furthermore, the therapeutic potential of BMP7 in these disease states is discussed. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.