The characterization of 66 kDa protein molecule, a major protein component which is produced from femoral-diaphyseal tissues with fracture healing (Igarashi and Yamaguchi  Int. J. Mol. Med. 9:503-508), was investigated. Weaning rats were killed at 7 and 14 days after femoral fracture. When the femoral-diaphyseal tissues with fracture healing were cultured for 48 h in a serum-free medium, many proteins in the bone tissues were released into the medium. Analysis with sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) showed that a protein molecule of approximately 66 kDa was markedly increased in culture medium from bone tissues with fracture healing. N-terminal sequencing of 66 kDa protein indicated that its N-terminus was identical to that of rat albumin. Western blot analysis of medium 66 kDa protein showed expression of albumin. This expression was significantly enhanced by fracture healing. The expression of albumin was seen in the diaphyseal (cortical bone) and metaphyseal (trabecular bone) tissues of rat femur. When the femoral-diaphyseal tissues obtained at 7 days after femoral fracture were cultured in a serum-free medium containing either vehicle, parathyroid hormone (1-34) (10(-7) M), insulin-like growth factor-I (10(-8) M) or zinc acexamate (10(-4) M), medium albumin was significantly increased in the presence of those bone-stimulating factors. The addition of albumin (0.5 or 1.0 mg/ml of medium) caused a significant increase in calcium and deoxyribonucleic acid contents in the femoral-diaphyseal and -metaphyseal tissues obtained from normal rats in vitro. The present study demonstrates that fracture healing induces a remarkable production of albumin which is a major protein component produced from femoral-diaphyseal tissues of rats, and that albumin has an anabolic effect on bone components.
Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.