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Curr Osteoporos Rep. 2012 Jun;10(2):141-50. doi: 10.1007/s11914-012-0103-6.

Effects of bone matrix proteins on fracture and fragility in osteoporosis.

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  • 1Department of Biomedical Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies, 110 Eighth Street, Troy, NY, 12180-3590, USA.


Bone mineral density alone cannot reliably predict fracture risk in humans and laboratory animals. Therefore, other factors including the quality of organic bone matrix components and their interactions may be of crucial importance to understanding of fragility fractures. Emerging research evidence shows, that in addition to collagen, certain noncollagenous proteins (NCPs) play a significant role in the structural organization of bone and influence its mechanical properties. However, their contribution to bone strength still remains largely undefined. Collagen and NCPs undergo different post-translational modifications, which alter the quality of the extracellular matrix and the response of bone to mechanical load. The primary focus of this overview is on NCPs that, together with collagen, contribute to structural and mechanical properties of bone. Current information on several mechanisms through which some NCPs influence bone's resistance to fracture, including the role of nonenzymatic glycation, is also presented.

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