A new study published in Nature Communications highlights a major and previously unsuspected role for Bone Morphogenetic Proteins in the acquisition and maintenance of vein identity, through a detailed analysis of early vascular patterning in mice and zebrafish. BMPs are a group of growth factors originally discovered by their ability to induce the formation of bone and cartilage.
Lead Researcher Sarah De Val said "This work places BMP signalling at the top of a regulatory cascade that activates venous identity. It represents a fundamental advance in both our knowledge of vascular development and our understanding of the role of the BMP pathway. It also provides a wealth of novel targets for therapeutic manipulations of vascular growth, for example in heart disease and cancer."
Read more (Department of Physiology, Anatomy & Genetics website)