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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2007 Aug 3;359(3):510-5. Epub 2007 May 30.

Inhibition of RANKL-mediated osteoclast differentiation by selective TRAF6 decoy peptides.

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Department of Experimental Therapeutics, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Box 143, 1515 Holcombe Blvd., Houston, TX 77030, USA.


RANK and RANKL are essential mediators of osteoclastogenesis. RANK interacts with members of the tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor (TRAF) family, of which TRAF6 is the critical signaling molecule. We identified a unique TRAF6-binding motif in RANK, which was subsequently co-crystallized with TRAF6 revealing distinct molecular interactions. A cell-permeable TRAF6 decoy peptide (T6DP) was shown to specifically target TRAF6 and inhibit RANKL-mediated signaling. In this study, we identified a core motif for binding to TRAF6 by generating a series of deletion mutants linked via palmitate as a means to internalize the peptide, thus making a smaller scaffold for intracellular delivery. The core motif of RKIPTEDEY inhibited RANKL-mediated osteoclastogenesis and bone resorption. In contrast, TRAF2/5 decoy peptides appeared to have no affect. Thus, disruption of the RANK-TRAF6 interaction may prove useful as a novel target for the development of a small molecule therapeutic agent for the treatment of bone-related diseases.

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