Osteopontin: a versatile regulator of inflammation and biomineralization

Matrix Biol. 2000 Dec;19(7):615-22. doi: 10.1016/s0945-053x(00)00108-6.


Osteopontin is a secreted glycoprotein with a multidomain structure and functions characteristic of a matricellular protein. Osteopontin interacts with cell surface receptors via arginine-glycine-aspartate (RGD)- and non-RGD containing adhesive domains, in addition to binding to components of the structural extracellular matrix. While normally expressed in bone and kidney, osteopontin levels are elevated during wound healing and inflammation in most tissues studied to date. Since 1986, over one thousand studies have been published on osteopontin, including recent experiments in osteopontin-deficient mice. These studies reveal osteopontin as a cell adhesive, signaling, migratory, and survival stimulus for various mesenchymal, epithelial, and inflammatory cells, in addition to being a potent regulator of osseous and ectopic calcification. Based on these reports, a general picture of osteopontin as an important regulator of inflammation and biomineralization is emerging. A common denominator in osteopontin function in these situations is its ability to regulate the function of macrophage and macrophage-derived cells (i.e. osteoclasts). While we have learned much about osteopontin and the processes it appears to regulate over the past decade, many questions regarding this important multifunctional protein remain unanswered and provide important directions for future studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcification, Physiologic / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Osteopontin
  • Sialoglycoproteins / immunology
  • Sialoglycoproteins / metabolism
  • Sialoglycoproteins / physiology*


  • SPP1 protein, human
  • Sialoglycoproteins
  • Spp1 protein, mouse
  • Osteopontin