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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Feb 5;110(6):2163-8. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1206392110. Epub 2013 Jan 22.

SLC4A2-mediated Cl-/HCO3- exchange activity is essential for calpain-dependent regulation of the actin cytoskeleton in osteoclasts.

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  • 1Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Bone remodeling requires osteoclasts to generate and maintain an acidified resorption compartment between the apical membrane and the bone surface to solubilize hydroxyapatite crystals within the bone matrix. This acidification process requires (i) apical proton secretion by a vacuolar H(+)-ATPase, (ii) actin cytoskeleton reorganization into a podosome belt that forms a gasket to restrict lacunar acid leakage, and (iii) basolateral chloride uptake and bicarbonate extrusion by an anion exchanger to provide Cl(-) permissive for apical acid secretion while preventing cytoplasmic alkalinization. Here we show that osteoclast-targeted deletion in mice of solute carrier family 4 anion exchanger member 2 (Slc4a2) results in osteopetrosis. We further demonstrate a previously unrecognized consequence of SLC4A2 loss of function in the osteoclast: dysregulation of calpain-dependent podosome disassembly, leading to abnormal actin belt formation, cell spreading, and migration. Rescue of SLC4A2-deficient osteoclasts with functionally defined mutants of SLC4A2 indicates regulation of actin cytoskeletal reorganization by anion-exchange activity and intracellular pH, independent of SLC4A2's long N-terminal cytoplasmic domain. These data suggest that maintenance of intracellular pH in osteoclasts through anion exchange regulates the actin superstructures required for bone resorption.

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