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Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1995 May;(314):266-80.

Molecular biology of matrix vesicles.

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Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City 66160, USA.


Matrix vesicles are extracellular 100-nanometer-diameter membrane-invested particles selectively located within the matrix of bone, cartilage, and predentin. They serve as the initial site of calcification in all skeletal tissues. Matrix vesicle biogenesis occurs by polarized budding and pinching off of vesicles from specific regions of the outer plasma membrane of chondrocytes, osteoblasts, and odontoblasts. Seeding of selected areas of matrix with matrix vesicles explains the localized distribution of subsequent zones of mineralization. Matrix vesicle biogenesis in the growth plate is linked to the chondrocyte cell cycle and reflects a stage in programmed cell death (apoptosis). Generation of initial hydroxyapatite mineral crystals occurs within the matrix vesicle membrane during Phase 1 of biologic mineralization. Phase 1 is controlled by phosphatases (including alkaline phosphatase) and Ca-binding molecules with which the matrix vesicles are well endowed. Phase 2 of biologic mineralization begins with breakdown of matrix vesicle membranes, exposing preformed hydroxyapatite to the extracellular fluid after which mineral crystal proliferation is governed by extracellular conditions. Phase 1 and Phase 2 of mineralization are under cellular control. Phase 1 is initiated by cells generating calcifiable matrix vesicles and releasing them into sites of intended calcification. Phase 2 is controlled by cells regulating extracellular ionic conditions and matrix composition.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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