Biochemical characterization of major bone-matrix proteins using nanoscale-size bone samples and proteomics methodology

Grazyna E. Sroga, Lamya Karim, Wilfredo Colón, Deepak Vashishth

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65 Scopus citations


There is growing evidence supporting the need for a broad scale investigation of the proteins and protein modifications in the organic matrix of bone and the use of these measures to predict fragility fractures. However, limitations in sample availability and high heterogeneity of bone tissue cause unique experimental and/or diagnostic problems. We addressed these by an innovative combination of laser capture microscopy with our newly developed liquid chromatography separation methods, followed by gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry analysis. Our strategy allows indepth analysis of very limited amounts of bone material, and thus, can be important to medical sciences, biology, forensic, anthropology, and archaeology. The developed strategy permitted unprecedented biochemical analyses of bone-matrix proteins, including collagen modifications, using nearly nanoscale amounts of exceptionally homogenous bone tissue. Dissection of fully mineralized bone-tissue at such degree of homogeneity has not been achieved before. Application of our strategy established that: (1) collagen in older interstitial bone contains higher levels of an advanced glycation end product pentosidine then younger osteonal tissue, an observation contrary to the published data; (2) the levels of two enzymatic crosslinks (pyridinoline and deoxypiridinoline) were higher in osteonal than interstitial tissue and agreed with data reported by others; (3) younger osteonal bone has higher amount of osteopontin and osteocalcin then older interstitial bone and this has not been shown before. Taken together, these data show that the level of fluorescent crosslinks in collagen and the amount of two major noncollagenous bone matrix proteins differ at the level of osteonal and interstitial tissue. We propose that this may have important implications for bone remodeling processes and bone microdamage formation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMolecular and Cellular Proteomics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes


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