Vascular calcification, a cause of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, is an actively regulated process involving vitamin K dependent proteins (VKDPs) among others. Vitamin K is an essential micronutrient, present in plants and animal fermented products that plays an important role as a cofactor for the post-translational γ-carboxylation of glutamic acid residues in a number of proteins.
These VKDPs require carboxylation to become biologically active, and they have been identified as having an active role in vascular cell migration, angiogenesis and vascular calcification.
This paper will review the process of vascular calcification and delineate the role that vitamin K2 plays in the modulation of that process, through the activation of VKDPs. One such VKDP is Matrix Gla Protein (MGP), which when activated inhibits osteogenic factors, thereby inhibiting vascular and soft tissue calcification.