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J Cell Biol. 2000 Jan 24;148(2):333-42.

Reciprocal role of ERK and NF-kappaB pathways in survival and activation of osteoclasts.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan.


To examine the role of mitogen-activated protein kinase and nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kappaB) pathways on osteoclast survival and activation, we constructed adenovirus vectors carrying various mutants of signaling molecules: dominant negative Ras (Ras(DN)), constitutively active MEK1 (MEK(CA)), dominant negative IkappaB kinase 2 (IKK(DN)), and constitutively active IKK2 (IKK(CA)). Inhibiting ERK activity by Ras(DN) overexpression rapidly induced the apoptosis of osteoclast-like cells (OCLs) formed in vitro, whereas ERK activation after the introduction of MEK(CA) remarkably lengthened their survival by preventing spontaneous apoptosis. Neither inhibition nor activation of ERK affected the bone-resorbing activity of OCLs. Inhibition of NF-kappaB pathway with IKK(DN) virus suppressed the pit-forming activity of OCLs and NF-kappaB activation by IKK(CA) expression upregulated it without affecting their survival. Interleukin 1alpha (IL-1alpha) strongly induced ERK activation as well as NF-kappaB activation. Ras(DN) virus partially inhibited ERK activation, and OCL survival promoted by IL-1alpha. Inhibiting NF-kappaB activation by IKK(DN) virus significantly suppressed the pit-forming activity enhanced by IL-1alpha. These results indicate that ERK and NF-kappaB regulate different aspects of osteoclast activation: ERK is responsible for osteoclast survival, whereas NF-kappaB regulates osteoclast activation for bone resorption.

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