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Curr Osteoporos Rep. 2014 Sep;12(3):366-75. doi: 10.1007/s11914-014-0213-4.

Biological regulation of bone quality.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of California San Francisco, 513 Parnassus Avenue, Room S-1155, San Francisco, CA, 94143-0514, USA,


The ability of bone to resist fracture is determined by the combination of bone mass and bone quality. Like bone mass, bone quality is carefully regulated. Of the many aspects of bone quality, this review focuses on biological mechanisms that control the material quality of the bone extracellular matrix (ECM). Bone ECM quality depends upon ECM composition and organization. Proteins and signaling pathways that affect the mineral or organic constituents of bone ECM impact bone ECM material properties, such as elastic modulus and hardness. These properties are also sensitive to pathways that regulate bone remodeling by osteoblasts, osteoclasts, and osteocytes. Several extracellular proteins, signaling pathways, intracellular effectors, and transcription regulatory networks have been implicated in the control of bone ECM quality. A molecular understanding of these mechanisms will elucidate the biological control of bone quality and suggest new targets for the development of therapies to prevent bone fragility.

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