Previously we first noted that taurine (TR) has anti-osteopenic effect on low Ca diet-induced osteopenia in rats (1). Employing osteoblastic MC3T3-E1 cells, the mechanism of the anti-osteopenic effect was explored in vitro. TR (1 mM) was found to promote mineralization of extracellular matrices, without affecting alkaline phosphataase activity. Gel shift assay using 32P-labeled OSE2 (osteoblast-specific cis-element 2: the consensus sequence for Cbfa1, refer to 2) indicated that TR (1 mM) increased the nuclear localization of Cbfa1, just as TPH (1-34) (3,4) and bisphosphonates did (5). In addition, TR was found to stimulate ERK phosphorylation. PD98059, a MEK inhibitor, suppressed effects of TR on both Cbfa1 transactivation and ERK activation. The results strongly suggest that TR first activates intracellular MEK-ERK-Cbfa1 signaling system thereby promoting mineralization and finally leading to its bone anabolic action.