Matricellular proteins are components of the extracellular matrix which are highly expressed in the developing and mature skeleton. Members of this protein class serve as biological mediators of cell function by interacting directly with cells or by modulating the activity of growth factors, proteases, and other extracellular matrix proteins. Although skeletons of matricellular protein-null mice are grossly normal, they each display unique deficiencies that are often magnified under pathological conditions. In addition, bone cells from wild-type and matricellular protein-null mice behave differently in various in vitro models of bone matrix synthesis and turnover. In this review, osteopontin, bone sialoprotein, tenascin C, SPARC, and thrombospondins 1 and 2 will each be discussed in the context of bone cell biology. Because the biological effects of matricellular proteins are largely context dependent, in vivo and in vitro results must be considered together in order to fully appreciate the specific contributions that matricellular proteins make to bone physiology and pathophysiology. In particular, it is clear that although matricellular proteins are not required for bone development and function, the proteins act to modulate post-natal bone structure in response to aging, ovariectomy, mechanical loading, and bone regeneration.
Bone – Elsevier
Published: Jun 1, 2006
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