There is a growing socioeconomic recognition that clinical bone diseases such as bone infections, bone tumors and osteoporotic bone loss mainly associated with ageing, are major issues in today's society. SPARC (secreted protein, acidic and rich in cysteine), a matricellular glycoprotein, may be a promising therapeutic target for preventing or treating bone-related diseases. In fact, SPARC is associated with tissue remodeling, repair, development, cell turnover, bone mineralization and may also participate in growth and progression of tumors, namely cancer-related bone metastasis. Yet, the function of SPARC in such biological processes is poorly understood and controversial. The main objective of this work is to review the current knowledge related to the activity of SPARC in bone remodeling, tumorigenesis, and bone metastasis. Progress in understanding SPARC biology may provide novel strategies for bone regeneration and the development of anti-angiogenic, anti-proliferative, or counter-adhesive treatments specifically against bone metastasis. J. Cell. Biochem. 115: 17–26, 2014. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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