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Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2002 Aug;13(4):285-92.

Formation and function of the ruffled border in osteoclasts.

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Bone and Mineral Centre, Royal Free and University College Medical School, Rayne Building, , London, WC1E 6JJ, UK.


Osteoclasts are multinucleated hematopoietic cells specialised for bone resorption. Dissolution of the inorganic fraction of the bone matrix is mediated by acidification of the bone surface in contact with the osteoclast whereas secreted lysosomal enzymes digest organic components. Through massive exocytosis, the plasma membrane in contact with the bone surface enlarges into the ruffled border, which has unusual features more similar to endosomal/lysosomal membranes. Maintenance of the ruffled border during resorption is achieved through a balance between exocytosis and endocytosis. Inactivation of proteins necessary for the extracellular acidification or of the proteases involved in matrix degradation leads to osteopetrosis; a disease characterised by dense bones.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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