The TGFβ superfamily growth factor BMP7 performs essential biological functions in embryonic development and regeneration of injured tissue in the adult. BMP7 activity is regulated at numerous levels in the signaling pathway by the expression of extracellular antagonists, decoy receptors and inhibitory cell signaling components. Additionally, expression of the BMP7 gene is tightly controlled both during embryonic development and adult life. In this review, the current status of work on regulation of BMP7 at the genomic level is discussed. In situ hybridization and reporter gene studies have conclusively defined patterns of BMP7 expression in many tissues. Additionally, both in vivo and cell culture studies have defined some of the mechanistic bases for this regulation. In addition to transcriptional activation mediated by binding of activating transcription factors, there is also strong evidence for repression through recruitment of histone modifying enzymes to specific genetic elements. This review summarizes our current understanding of BMP7 gene regulation in embryonic development and adult tissues.
Keywords: BMP, BMP7, bone morphogenetic protein, gene regulation, enhancer element