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The bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) are a family of secreted signaling molecules that can induce ectopic bone growth. Many BMPs are part of the transforming growth factor-beta (TGFB) superfamily. BMPs were originally identified by an ability of demineralized bone extract to induce endochondral osteogenesis in vivo in an extraskeletal site. Based on its expression early in embryogenesis, the BMP encoded by this gene has a proposed role in early development. In addition, the fact that this BMP is closely related to BMP5 and BMP7 has lead to speculation of possible bone inductive activity. Protein function: Induces cartilage and bone formation. [The UniProt Consortium]