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Nat Med. 2005 Mar;11(3):284-90. Epub 2005 Feb 13.

Vav3 regulates osteoclast function and bone mass.

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Department of Pathology and Immunology, Washington University School of Medicine, 660 S. Euclid Avenue, St. Louis, Missouri 63110, USA.


Osteoporosis, a leading cause of morbidity in the elderly, is characterized by progressive loss of bone mass resulting from excess osteoclastic bone resorption relative to osteoblastic bone formation. Here we identify Vav3, a Rho family guanine nucleotide exchange factor, as essential for stimulated osteoclast activation and bone density in vivo. Vav3-deficient osteoclasts show defective actin cytoskeleton organization, polarization, spreading and resorptive activity resulting from impaired signaling downstream of the M-CSF receptor and alpha(v)beta3 integrin. Vav3-deficient mice have increased bone mass and are protected from bone loss induced by systemic bone resorption stimuli such as parathyroid hormone or RANKL. Moreover, we provide genetic and biochemical evidence for the role of Syk tyrosine kinase as a crucial upstream regulator of Vav3 in osteoclasts. Thus, Vav3 is a potential new target for antiosteoporosis therapy.

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