CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein α (C/EBPα) is important for osteoclast differentiation and activity

Academic Article


  • CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein (C/EBPα) can appoint mouse bone marrow (MBM) cells to the osteoclast (OC) lineage for osteoclastogenesis. However, whether C/EBPα is also involved in OC differentiation and activity is unknown. Here we demonstrated that C/EBPα overexpression in MBM cells can promote OC differentiation and strongly induce the expression of the OC genes encoding the nuclear factor of activated T-cells, c1 (NFATc1), cathepsin K (Cstk), and tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase 5 (TRAP) with receptor activator of NF-κB ligand-evoked OC lineage priming. Furthermore, while investigating the specific stage of OC differentiation that is regulated by C/EBPα, our gene overexpression studies revealed that, although C/EBPα plays a stronger role in the early stage of OC differentiation, it is also involved in the later stage. Accordingly, C/EBPα knockdown drastically inhibits osteoclastogenesis and markedly abrogates the expression of NFATc1, Cstk, and TRAP during OC differentiation. Consistently, C/EBPα silencing revealed that, although lack of C/EBPα affects all stages of OC differentiation, it has more impact on the early stage. Importantly, we showed that ectopic expression of rat C/EBPα restores osteoclastogenesis in C/EBPα-depleted MBM cells. Furthermore, our subsequent functional assays showed that C/EBPα exhibits a dispensable role on actin ring formation by mature OCs but is critically involved in bone resorption by stimulating extracellular acidification and regulating cell survival. We revealed that C/EBPα is important for receptor activator of NF-κB ligand-induced Akt activation, which is crucial for OC survival. Collectively, these results indicate that C/EBPα functions throughout osteoclastogenesis as well as in OC function. This study provides additional understanding of the roles of C/EBPα in OC biology.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Jules J; Chen W; Feng X; Li YP
  • Start Page

  • 16390
  • End Page

  • 16403
  • Volume

  • 291
  • Issue

  • 31