We describe here the isolation of a novel non-collagenous protein from the acid demineralization extract of bovine cortical bone. This 24-kDa protein is multiply phosphorylated at serine residues in Ser-X-Glu/Ser(P) sequences, a recognition motif for phosphorylation by the secretory pathway protein kinase, and we have termed this protein secreted phosphoprotein 24 (spp24). The cDNA structure of spp24 was determined by sequencing cDNA fragments obtained by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, 3'-rapid amplification of cDNA ends, and screening a λgt11 cDNA library. This cDNA sequence predicts a 200-residue initial translation product which consists of a 20-residue signal sequence and the 180-residue mature spp24. Northern blot analysis using the spp24 cDNA showed that spp24 mRNA is in liver and bone but not in heart, lung, kidney, or spleen. A search of existing protein sequences revealed that the N-terminal 107 residues of mature spp24 are related in sequence to the cystatin family of thiol protease inhibitors, which suggests that spp24 could function to modulate the thiol protease activities that are known to be involved in bone turnover. Several of the proteins in the cystatin family that are most closely related to spp24 are not only thiol protease inhibitors but are also precursors to peptides with potent biological activity, peptides such as bradykinin and the neutrophil antibiotic peptides. It is therefore possible that the intact form of spp24 found in bone could also be a precursor to a biologically active peptide, a peptide which could coordinate an aspect of bone turnover.
ASJC Scopus subject areas