Extraction of osteocalcin from fossil bones and teeth

M. M.W. Ulrich, W. R.K. Perizonius, C. F. Spoor, P. Sandberg, C. Vermeer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Osteocalcin (also called 'bone Gla-protein') was detected in fossil bovid bones ranging from 12 000 years to 13 million years old and in rodent teeth 30 million years old. Both the antigenic activity and the protein-bound Gla-residues have remained intact. The protein is indistinguishable from recent bovine osteocalcin when analyzed by HPLC using ion exchange and size exclusion columns. If sufficient amounts can be extracted and an adequate purification procedure is established, this would be the first time that amino acid sequences in a protein from fossil bones may be determined. Such sequence data could offer a new aproach to the phylogenetic study of extinct taxa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)712-719
Number of pages8
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 16 Dec 1987

Cite this