Common mechanisms in development and disease: BMP signaling in craniofacial development

Daniel Graf, Zeba Malik, Satoru Hayano, Yuji Mishina

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

85 Citations (Scopus)


BMP signaling is one of the key pathways regulating craniofacial development. It is involved in the early patterning of the head, the development of cranial neural crest cells, and facial patterning. It regulates development of its mineralized structures, such as cranial bones, maxilla, mandible, palate, and teeth. Targeted mutations in the mouse have been instrumental to delineate the functional involvement of this signaling network in different aspects of craniofacial development. Gene polymorphisms and mutations in BMP pathway genes have been associated with various non-syndromic and syndromic human craniofacial malformations. The identification of intricate cellular interactions and underlying molecular pathways illustrate the importance of local fine-regulation of Bmp signaling to control proliferation, apoptosis, epithelial-mesenchymal interactions, and stem/progenitor differentiation during craniofacial development. Thus, BMP signaling contributes both to shape and functionality of our facial features. BMP signaling also regulates postnatal craniofacial growth and is associated with dental structures life-long. A more detailed understanding of BMP function in growth, homeostasis, and repair of postnatal craniofacial tissues will contribute to our ability to rationally manipulate this signaling network in the context of tissue engineering.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-139
Number of pages11
JournalCytokine and Growth Factor Reviews
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2016


  • BMP signaling
  • Cleft palate
  • Congenital malformations
  • Craniofacial development
  • Craniofacial malformations
  • Gene targeting
  • Tooth morphogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology


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