JOURNAL ARTICLE
RESEARCH SUPPORT, N.I.H., EXTRAMURAL
REVIEW
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Beyond the bone: Bone morphogenetic protein signaling in adipose tissue.

The bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) belong to the same superfamily as related to transforming growth factor β (TGFβ), growth and differentiation factors (GDFs), and activins. They were initially described as inducers of bone formation but are now known to be involved in morphogenetic activities and cell differentiation throughout the body, including the development of adipose tissue and adipogenic differentiation. BMP4 and BMP7 are the most studied BMPs in adipose tissue, with major roles in white adipogenesis and brown adipogenesis, respectively, but other BMPs such as BMP2, BMP6, and BMP8b as well as some inhibitors and modulators have been shown to also affect adipogenesis. It has become ever more important to understand adipose regulation, including the BMP pathways, in light of the strong links between obesity and metabolic and cardiovascular disease. In this review, we summarize the available information on BMP signaling in adipose tissue using preferentially articles that have appeared in the last decade, which together demonstrate the importance of BMP signaling in adipose biology.

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