Chapter 20. The Biological and Cellular Role of Fetuin Family Proteins in Biomineralization

  1. Prof. Dr. Edmund Bäuerlein
  1. Cora Schäfer and
  2. Willi Jahnen-Dechent

Published Online: 20 MAR 2008

DOI: 10.1002/9783527619443.ch64

Handbook of Biomineralization: Biological Aspects and Structure Formation

Handbook of Biomineralization: Biological Aspects and Structure Formation

How to Cite

Schäfer, C. and Jahnen-Dechent, W. (2007) The Biological and Cellular Role of Fetuin Family Proteins in Biomineralization, in Handbook of Biomineralization: Biological Aspects and Structure Formation (ed E. Bäuerlein), Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH, Weinheim, Germany. doi: 10.1002/9783527619443.ch64

Editor Information

  1. Max-Planck-Institute for Biochemistry, Department of Membrane Biochemistry, Am Klopferspitz 18 A, 82152 Planegg, Germany

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 20 MAR 2008
  2. Published Print: 25 MAY 2007

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9783527316410

Online ISBN: 9783527619443

SEARCH

Keywords:

  • fetuin;
  • alpha2-S glycoprotein;
  • calciprotein particles;
  • pathological mineralization;
  • ectopic calcification;
  • knockout mice

Summary

The final step of biomineralization is a chemical precipitation reaction that occurs spontaneously in supersaturated or metastable salt solutions. In physiological bone formation, “osteogenesis”, and also in pathological mineralization, “ectopic mineralization or calcification”, genetic programs direct precursor cells into a mineralization-competent state. Therefore, all tissues not meant to mineralize must be actively protected against the chance precipitation of mineral. Fetuin-A is a blood protein that acts as a potent inhibitor of ectopic mineralization. Fetuin-A-deficient mice develop severe soft tissue calcification. Fetuin-A combines with calcium and phosphate into transiently soluble colloidal particles termed calciprotein particles. Thus, fetuin-A is a systemic inhibitor of pathological mineralization complementing local inhibitors acting in a cell- or tissue-restricted fashion.