Signaling by the many ligands of the TGFβ family strongly converges towards only five receptor-activated, intracellular Smad proteins, which fall into two classes i.e. Smad2/3 and Smad1/5/8, respectively. These Smads bind to a surprisingly high number of Smad-interacting proteins (SIPs), many of which are transcription factors (TFs) that co-operate in Smad-controlled target gene transcription in a cell type and context specific manner. A combination of functional analyses in vivo as well as in cell cultures and biochemical studies has revealed the enormous versatility of the Smad proteins. Smads and their SIPs regulate diverse molecular and cellular processes and are also directly relevant to development and disease. In this survey, we selected appropriate examples on the BMP-Smads, with emphasis on Smad1 and Smad5, and on a number of SIPs, i.e. the CPSF subunit Smicl, Ttrap (Tdp2) and Sip1 (Zeb2, Zfhx1b) from our own research carried out in three different vertebrate models.