Osteocalcin, also known as bone gamma-carboxyglutamic acid-containing protein (BGLAP), is a small (49-amino-acid) noncollagenous proteinhormone found in bone and dentin, first identified as a calcium-binding protein in chick bone.
Use as a biochemical marker for bone formation
As osteocalcin is produced by osteoblasts, it is often used as a marker for the bone formation process. It has been observed that higher serum osteocalcin levels are relatively well correlated with increases in bone mineral density during treatment with anabolic bone formation drugs for osteoporosis, such as teriparatide. In many studies, osteocalcin is used as a preliminary biomarker on the effectiveness of a given drug on bone formation. For instance, one study which aimed to study the effectiveness of a glycoprotein called lactoferrin on bone formation used osteocalcin as a measure of osteoblast activity.
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