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Exp Cell Res. 2008 Feb 1;314(3):564-73. Epub 2007 Nov 1.

Tropomyosin 4 regulates adhesion structures and resorptive capacity in osteoclasts.

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Department of Physiology and Cell Biology, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, 302 Hamilton Hall, 1645 Neil Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.


Tropomyosins (Tms) are alpha-helical dimers that bind and stabilize actin microfilaments while regulating their accessibility to other actin-associated proteins. Four genes encode expression of over forty Tms, most of which are expressed in nonmuscle cells. In recent years, it has become clear that individual Tm isoforms may regulate specific actin pools within cells. In this study, we examined how osteoclast function may be regulated by the tropomyosin isoform Tm-4, which we previously showed to be highly localized to podosomes and sealing zones of osteoclasts. RNAi-mediated knockdown of Tm-4, both in RAW264.7- and mouse marrow-derived osteoclasts, resulted in thinning of the actin ring of the sealing zone. Knockdown of Tm-4 also resulted in diminished bone resorptive capacity and altered resorption pit shape. In contrast, osteoclasts overexpressing Tm-4 demonstrated thickened podosomes on glass as well as thickened, aberrant actin structures on bone, and diminished motility and resorptive capacity. These results indicate that Tm-4 plays a role in regulating adhesion structures of osteoclasts, most likely by stabilizing the actin microfilaments present in podosomes and the sealing zone.

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