Integrative physiology: Defined novel metabolic roles of osteocalcin

Yu Sik Kim, Il Young Paik, Young Jun Rhie, Sang Hoon Suh

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    39 Citations (Scopus)


    The prevailing model of osteology is that bones constantly undergo a remodeling process, and that the differentiation and functions of osteoblasts are partially regulated by leptin through different central hypothalamic pathways. The finding that bone remodeling is regulated by leptin suggested possible endocrinal effects of bones on energy metabolism. Recently, a reciprocal relationship between bones and energy metabolism was determined whereby leptin influences osteoblast functions and, in turn, the osteoblast-derived protein osteocalcin influences energy metabolism. The metabolic effects of bones are caused by the release of osteocalcin into the circulation in an uncarboxylated form due to incomplete γ-carboxylation. In this regard, the Esp gene encoding osteotesticular protein tyrosine phosphatase is particularly interesting because it may regulate γ-carboxylation of osteocalcin. Novel metabolic roles of osteocalcin have been identified, including increased insulin secretion and sensitivity, increased energy expenditure, fat mass reduction, and mitochondrial proliferation and functional enhancement. To date, only a positive correlation between osteocalcin and energy metabolism in humans has been detected, leaving causal effects unresolved. Further research topics include: identification of the osteocalcin receptor; the nature of osteocalcin regulation in other pathways regulating metabolism; crosstalk between nutrition, osteocalcin, and energy metabolism; and potential applications in the treatment of metabolic diseases.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)985-991
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Korean medical science
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - 2010 Jul


    • Bone remodeling
    • Energy metabolism
    • Leptin
    • Osteocalcin
    • Protein tyrosine phosphatases

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Medicine


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