There are at least 20 structurally and functionally related BMPs, which are members of the TGF-beta superfamily. BMPs were originally identified as protein regulators of cartilage and bone formation. They are also involved in embryogenesis and morphogenesis of various tissues and organs. BMPs regulate the growth, differentiation, chemotaxis and apoptosis of various cell types, including mesenchymal cells, epithelial cells, hematopoietic cells and neuronal cells. Similar to other TGF-beta family proteins, BMPs are highly conserved across animal species.
BMP-5 promotes dendritic growth in cultured sympathetic neurons and is inhibited by chordin and noggin. It is expressed in the trabecular meshwork and optic nerve head and may have a role in the development and normal function. It is also expressed in the lung and liver.