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J Bone Miner Res. 2012 Oct;27(10):2085-96. doi: 10.1002/jbmr.1670.

Regulation of bone mass and osteoclast function depend on the F-actin modulator SWAP-70.

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Institute of Physiological Chemistry, Dresden University of Technology, Dresden, Germany.


Bone remodeling involves tightly regulated bone-resorbing osteoclasts and bone-forming osteoblasts. Determining osteoclast function is central to understanding bone diseases such as osteoporosis and osteopetrosis. Here, we report a novel function of the F-actin binding and regulatory protein SWAP-70 in osteoclast biology. F-actin ring formation, cell morphology, and bone resorption are impaired in Swap-70(-/-) osteoclasts, whereas the expression of osteoclast differentiation markers induced in vitro by macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF) and receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL) remains unaffected. Swap-70(-/-) mice develop osteopetrosis with increased bone mass, abnormally dense bone, and impaired osteoclast function. Ectopic expression of SWAP-70 in Swap-70(-/-) osteoclasts in vitro rescues their deficiencies in bone resorption and F-actin ring formation. Rescue requires a functional pleckstrin homology (PH) domain, known to support membrane localization of SWAP-70, and the F-actin binding domain. Transplantation of SWAP-70-proficient bone marrow into Swap-70(-/-) mice restores osteoclast resorption capacity in vivo. The identification of the role of SWAP-70 in promoting osteoclast function through modulating membrane-proximal F-actin rearrangements reveals a new pathway to control osteoclasts and bone homeostasis.

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