Caren G Carpenter PhD
Professor of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation
Function of non-collagenous bone matrix proteins with an emphasis on osteocalcin, a vitamin K-dependent protein synthesized only in bone; Animal Models; Biochemistry; Bone Disease; Bone Formation; Bone Markers; Cell Culture; Immunoassay
Current ProjectsWe are currently actively involved in characterizing the circulating forms of osteocalcin and defining the factors that influence its synthesis and secretion. To that end, we have developed site specific antibodies and are investigating the circulating forms of osteocalcin through the use of these monoclonal antibodies. We are (1) investigating the source and regulation of osteocalcin production, and (2) identifying regulators of osteocalcin synthesis and secretion in vivo and in vitro.
There is also considerable evidence that vitamin K deficiency has a negative impact on bone. To that end we are investigating the relationships between vitamin K status, calcium homeostasis and biosynthesis of functional osteocalcin.
Current in vivo studies include analysis of the phenotype of several transgenic mice with targeted deletions of bone matrix proteins. Single and double knock-out mice are being developed in order to determine the role of these proteins in skeletal modeling and remodeling.
My laboratory is interested in the development of serum markers for the evaluation of osteoporosis and metabolic bone disease. We have focused primarily on osteocalcin, a vitamin K-dependent protein synthesized only in bone. We have conducted large population studies relating serum osteocalcin levels to race, gender, normal growth, development, and aging and to a variety of metabolic bone diseases including osteoporosis.