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ABSTRACT: Osteoclasts are multinucleated giant cells that reside in osseous tissues and resorb bone. Signaling mediated by receptor activator of nuclear factor (NF)-κB (RANK) and its ligand leads to the nuclear factor of activated T cells 2/c1 (NFAT2 or NFATc1) expression, a critical step in the formation of functional osteoclasts. In addition, adaptor proteins harboring immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motifs, such as DNAX-activating protein of 12 kDa (DAP12), play essential roles. In this study, we identified the gene encoding the lectin Siglec-15 as NFAT2-inducible, and we found that the protein product links RANK ligand-RANK-NFAT2 and DAP12 signaling in mouse osteoclasts. Both the recognition of sialylated glycans by the Siglec-15 V-set domain and the association with DAP12 through its Lys-272 are essential for its function. When Siglec-15 expression was knocked down, fewer multinucleated cells developed, and those that did were morphologically contracted with disordered actin-ring structures. These changes were accompanied by significantly reduced bone resorption. Siglec-15 formed complexes with Syk through DAP12 in response to vitronectin. Furthermore, chimeric molecules consisting of the extracellular and transmembrane regions of Siglec-15 with a K272A mutation and the cytoplasmic region of DAP12 significantly restored bone resorption in cells with knocked down Siglec-15 expression. Together, these results suggested that the Siglec-15-DAP12-Syk-signaling cascade plays a critical role in functional osteoclast formation.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 03/2012; 287(21):17493-502. DOI:10.1074/jbc.M111.324194 · 4.60 Impact Factor