What is Osteopontin?
Osteopontin (OPN) belongs to the SIBLING gene family of five identically oriented tandem genes within a 375,000 bp region on chromosome 4. Underlying OPN physiology are sentinel areas of high research interest, including malignant disease, neovascularization and angiogenesis, wound healing, innate and adaptive immunity, embryo implantation, hypoxia, stress response, and apoptosis. One can identify in pathological states where osteopontin plays a role, the common theme of stress response/chronic immune activation. Chronic immune activation and inflammation are ‘hot’ topics of research and are associated with a number of pathologies such as autoimmune disease, cardiovascular disease, cancer, aging, dementia, diabetes, obesity and metabolic syndrome.
OPN is an apsartic acidic rich protein with multiple sites for phosphorylation.