Variants of osteoprotegerin lacking trail binding for therapeutic bone remodeling in osteolytic malignancies

Academic Article


  • Osteolytic bone damage is a major cause of morbidity in several metastatic pathologies. Current therapies using bisphosphonates provide modest improvement, but cytotoxic side effects still occur prompting the need to develop more effective therapies to target aggressive osteoclastogenesis. Increased levels of receptor activator of NF-kB ligand (TNFSF11/RANKL), leading to RANKL-RANK signaling, remain the key axis for osteoclast activation and bone resorption. Osteoprotegerin (TNFRSF11B/OPG), a decoy receptor for RANKL, is significantly decreased in patients who present with bone lesions. Despite its potential in inhibiting osteoclast activation, OPG also binds to TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TNFSF10/TRAIL), making tumor cells resistant to apoptosis. Toward uncoupling the events of TRAIL binding of OPG and to improve its utility for bone remodeling without inducing tumor resistance to apoptosis, OPG mutants were developed by structural homology modeling based on interactive domain identification and by superimposing models of OPG, TRAIL, and its receptor DR5 (TNFRSF10B) to identify regions of OPG for rational design. The OPG mutants were purified and extensively characterized for their ability to decrease osteoclast damage without affecting tumor apoptosis pathway both in vitro and in vivo, confirming their potential in bone remodeling following cancer-induced osteolytic damage. Implications: OPG variants were developed that lack TRAIL binding, yet retain RANKL binding and suggest new possibilities for therapeutic targeting in osteolytic malignancies.
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    Author List

  • Higgs JT; Jarboe JS; Lee JH; Chanda D; Lee CM; Deivanayagam C; Ponnazhagan S
  • Start Page

  • 819
  • End Page

  • 827
  • Volume

  • 13
  • Issue

  • 5