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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Thrombospondin is an osteoblast-derived component of mineralized extracellular matrix.

Thrombospondin, the most abundant protein of platelet alpha granules, is a biosynthetic product of a variety of connective tissue cells and a component of many extracellular matrices. In this study, thrombospondin distribution in bone was investigated using a monoclonal antibody specific for the human protein. Thrombospondin was localized in osteoid of undemineralized, frozen sections of fetal subperiosteal bone, and identified as a component of mineralized bone matrix of neonatal and/or young (growing) bone of many animal species by Western blot analysis. Adult human bone cells were demonstrated to contain mRNA for thrombospondin by hybridization of a cDNA thrombospondin probe to a 6.1 kb mRNA. Pulse-chase experiments indicated that the protein was synthesized and the majority was secreted from osteoblastic cells. Treatment of the cells with TGF-beta (0.01-10 ng/ml) slightly decreased total thrombospondin synthesis, but caused an increase in the retention on newly synthesized thrombospondin in the cell layer/matrix fraction. In cell attachment assays, thrombospondin mediated adhesion, but not spreading of adult human bone cells.[1]


  1. Thrombospondin is an osteoblast-derived component of mineralized extracellular matrix. Robey, P.G., Young, M.F., Fisher, L.W., McClain, T.D. J. Cell Biol. (1989) [Pubmed]
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