||BMP6 (bone morphogenetic protein 6) encodes a secreted ligand of the TGF-beta (transforming growth factor-beta) superfamily of proteins. Ligands of this family bind various TGF-beta receptors leading to recruitment and activation of SMAD family transcription factors that regulate gene expression. The encoded preproprotein is proteolytically processed to generate each subunit of the disulfide-linked homodimer. This protein regulates a wide range of biological processes including iron homeostasis, fat and bone development, and ovulation. Differential expression of BMP6 may be associated with progression of breast and prostate cancer. Mutations in BMP6 may be associated with iron overload in human patients.