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Matrix Biol. 2010 May;29(4):287-94. doi: 10.1016/j.matbio.2010.01.003. Epub 2010 Jan 15.

Degradation of hydroxyapatite in vivo and in vitro requires osteoclastic sodium-bicarbonate co-transporter NBCn1.

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Bone Biology Research Consortium, Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, Institute of Biomedicine, University of Turku, FIN-20520 Turku, Finland.


Dissolution of the inorganic bone matrix releases not only calcium and phosphate ions, but also bicarbonate. Electroneutral sodium-bicarbonate co-transporter (NBCn1) is expressed in inactive osteoclasts, but its physiological role in bone resorption has remained unknown. We show here that NBCn1, encoded by the SLC4A7 gene, is directly involved in bone resorption. NBCn1 protein was specifically found at the bone-facing ruffled border areas, and metabolic acidosis increased NBCn1 expression in rats in vivo. In human hematopoietic stem cell cultures, NBCn1 mRNA expression was observed only after formation of resorbing osteoclasts. To further confirm the critical role of NBCn1 during bone resorption, human hematopoietic stem cells were transduced with SLC4A7 shRNA lentiviral particles. Downregulation of NBCn1 both on mRNA and protein level by lentiviral shRNAs significantly inhibited bone resorption and increased intracellular acidification in osteoclasts. The lentiviral particles did not impair osteoclast survival, or differentiation of the hematopoietic or mesenchymal precursor cells into osteoclasts or osteoblasts in vitro. Inhibition of NBCn1 activity may thus provide a new way to regulate osteoclast activity during pathological bone resorption.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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