Research ArticleBone

A degradation fragment of type X collagen is a real-time marker for bone growth velocity

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Science Translational Medicine  06 Dec 2017:
Vol. 9, Issue 419, eaan4669
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aan4669

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Detecting skeletal growth

During development, bone is created by a process called endochondral ossification, which results in the production of a fragment of type X collagen. Endochondral ossification also occurs during long bone growth and fracture healing. Coghlan et al. discovered that the type X collagen fragment could be isolated from blood and its concentration correlated with skeletal growth velocity. Fragment concentration was inversely correlated with age and fluctuated during fracture healing in adults. The authors developed an assay to quantify the fragment that could be useful as a real-time marker of skeletal growth in children and for monitoring response to treatment for growth and bone disorders.