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Nat Med. 2006 Dec;12(12):1410-6. Epub 2006 Nov 26.

Regulation of osteoclast differentiation and function by the CaMK-CREB pathway.

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  • 1Department of Cell Signaling, Graduate School, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Japan.

Abstract

Calcium (Ca(2+)) signaling is essential for a variety of cellular responses and higher biological functions. Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent kinases (CaMKs) and the phosphatase calcineurin activate distinct downstream pathways that are mediated by the transcription factors cAMP response element (CRE)-binding protein (CREB) and nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT), respectively. The importance of the calcineurin-NFAT pathway in bone metabolism has been demonstrated in osteoclasts, osteoblasts and chondrocytes. However, the contribution of the CaMK-CREB pathway is poorly understood, partly because of the difficulty of dissecting the functions of homologous family members. Here we show that the CaMKIV-CREB pathway is crucial for osteoclast differentiation and function. Pharmacological inhibition of CaMKs as well as the genetic ablation of Camk4 reduced CREB phosphorylation and downregulated the expression of c-Fos, which is required for the induction of NFATc1 (the master transcription factor for osteoclastogenesis) that is activated by receptor activator of NF-kappaB ligand (RANKL). Furthermore, CREB together with NFATc1 induced the expression of specific genes expressed by differentiated osteoclasts. Thus, the CaMK-CREB pathway biphasically functions to regulate the transcriptional program of osteoclastic bone resorption, by not only enhancing induction of NFATc1 but also facilitating NFATc1-dependent gene regulation once its expression is induced. This provides a molecular basis for a new therapeutic strategy for bone diseases.

PMID:
17128269
DOI:
10.1038/nm1515
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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