Spatial regulation of BMP activity
The bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signalling pathway is critical for embryonic development and tissue homeostasis, and impaired BMP signalling has been implicated in multiple diseases. Molecular tools have been developed to visualise BMP activity in vivo and these have allowed a better understanding of the intricate ways in which BMP activity is regulated spatially. In particular, generation and interpretation of BMP activity gradients during development result from the complex interplay between core BMP signalling components and specific regulators. In this essay we discuss the mechanisms by which spatial regulation of BMP activity is achieved and its functional consequences.