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Eur J Cell Biol. 2006 Apr;85(3-4):195-202. Epub 2005 Oct 24.

Podosome and sealing zone: specificity of the osteoclast model.

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Laboratoire de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire UMR 5161 CNRS/ENS, IFR 128 Biosciences, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, 46 allée d'Italie, F-69007 Lyon, France.


The bone resorption function of osteoclasts is dependent on the integrity of the actin cytoskeleton. Depending on the substratum upon which the osteoclasts are spread, there are two different structures of actin known as podosomes and the sealing zone. To understand the specific properties and relationship of podosomes and the sealing zone, we used live-cell imaging of cultured osteoclasts. When cultured on extracellular matrix components, podosomes in these cells are organized in higher-ordered structures. These are clustered podosomes that will arrange later into dynamic short-lived rings which finally expand to the cell periphery to form a stable long-lived podosome belt in fully differentiated cells. In osteoclasts, this specific podosome patterning is under the control of microtubules (MTs). Indeed, nocodazole treatment does not affect podosome formation but only the transition between clusters/rings and belts. During this transition, MTs accumulate a specific post-translational modification of tubulin by acetylation. This process is repressed by an inhibitory pathway involving the GTPase Rho, its effector mDIA2 and the recently discovered tubulin deacetylase HDAC6. The specific function of this acetylation is still unknown but is also observed in active osteoclasts forming a sealing zone which is also MT dependent. Thus, it appears that the podosome belt is reminiscent of the sealing zone. Indeed, podosome belts and sealing zones are characterized by their overall stability. Despite their similar behavior, a sealing zone is not formed by fusion of podosomes. The formation of a podosome belt or a sealing zone is controlled by the external environment. Indeed, only the bone mineral fraction, known as apatite crystal, is able to induce sealing zone formation in mature osteoclasts. Contact of osteoclasts with apatite stimulates the non-receptor tyrosine kinase c-Src and the GTPase Rho in order to form the sealing zone. As we will discuss in this review, it appears that podosomes and the sealing zone are strikingly linked.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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