Post-genomic research on osteoblastic and osteoclastic cells, in contrast to that on many other cell types, has only been undertaken recently. Nevertheless, important information has been gained from these investigations on the mechanisms involved in osteoblast differentiation and on markers relevant for tissue regeneration and therapeutic validation of drugs, hormones and growth factors. These protein indicators may also have a diagnostic and prognostic value for bone dysfunctions and tumors. Some reviews have already focused on the application of transcriptomics and/or proteomics for exploring skeletal biology and related disorders. The main goal of the present review is to systematically summarize the most relevant post-genomic studies on various metabolic bone diseases (osteoporosis, Paget's disease and osteonecrosis), neoplasias (osteosarcoma) and metabolic conditions that indirectly affect bone tissue, such as alkaptonuria.
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