Osteocalcin: an emerging biomarker for bone turnover

Brijesh Rathore, Manisha Singh, Vishnu Kumar, Aparna Misra


Osteocalcin (OC) is produced by osteoblasts during bone formation. OC is excreted into urine by glomerular filtration and can be found as fragments in urine. The presence of three vitamin K-dependent γ-carboxyglutamic acid residues is critical for osteocalcin’s structure, which appears to regulate the maturation of bone mineral. Recent bone biology research have highlighted the importance of bone not only as a structural scaffold to support the human body, but also as a regulator of a metabolic processes that are independent of mineral metabolism. Circulating osteocalcin is present either as carboxylated or as undercarboxylated forms. Increased serum level of osteocalcin is linked with increased bone mineral density. The importance of the bone–kidney relation in physiologic regulation of mineral ion has also been extensively studied and documented.  Several workers have uncovered the role of insulin as an additional factor involved in the skeletal remodelling process. Evidences are available which shows that osteoblastic insulin signalling is important for glucose metabolism. The measurement of OC in urine samples could be used as an index of bone turnover in monitoring bone metabolism. In this review, we have tried to explain different roles of OC, however further studies are required to elucidate the metabolic and hormonal role of OC in human body.


Osteocalcin, Urinary Osteocalcin, Bone turn over, Bone resorption

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