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Acid phosphatases as markers of bone metabolism.

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Dokkyo University School of Medicine, Department of Biochemistry, 321-0923 Mibu Tochigi, Japan.


Various biochemical markers have been used to assess bone metabolism and to monitor the effects of treatments. Tartrate resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP; EC has often been used to assess bone absorption. Although osteoclasts contain abundant TRAP and they are responsible for bone resorption, the total TRAP activities in the serum measured by colorimetric methods little reflect the bone turnover. TRAP 5 is further separated into 5a and 5b by electrophoresis. Type 5b is considered to be derived from the osteoclast, and therefore attempts are being made to measure exclusively serum TRAP 5b by kinetic methods, immunological methods, and chromatographic methods including ion-exchange and heparin column chromatography.

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