The protein encoded by this gene is a member of the bone morphogenetic protein family which is part of the transforming growth factor-beta superfamily. The superfamily includes large families of growth and differentiation factors. Bone morphogenetic proteins were originally identified by an ability of demineralized bone extract to induce endochondral osteogenesis in vivo in an extraskeletal site. This particular family member plays an important role in the onset of endochondral bone formation in humans, and a reduction in expression has been associated with a variety of bone diseases, including the heritable disorder Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva. Alternative splicing in the 5' untranslated region of this gene has been described and three variants are described, all encoding an identical protein.
1. Effects of bone morphogenetic protein 4 on differentiation of embryonic stem cells into myosin VIIa-positive cells. Acta Otolaryngol Suppl 2007 Feb;(557):36-40