Rab27A regulates transport of lysosome-related organelles (LROs) and release of secretory granules in various types of cells. Here, we identified up-regulation of Rab27A during differentiation of osteoclasts (OCLs) from bone-marrow macrophages (BMMs), by DNA microarray analysis. Rab27A deficiency in OCLs, using small interfering RNA (siRNA) knockdown in RAW-D cell line or BMMs derived from ashen mice, which display genetic defects in Rab27A expression, induced multinucleated and giant cells. Upon stimulation with macrophage-colony stimulating factor (M-CSF) and receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa-B ligand (RANKL), essential cytokines for OCL differentiation, phosphorylation levels of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (Erk), proto-oncogene tyrosine-protein kinase (Src), and p-38 were slightly enhanced in ashen BMMs than in wild-type BMMs. The cell surface level of c-fms, an M-CSF receptor, was slightly higher in ashen BMMs than in wild-type BMMs, and down-regulation of RANK, a RANKL receptor, was delayed. In addition to receptors, OCLs derived from ashen mice exhibited aberrant actin ring formation, abnormal subcellular localization of lysosome-associated membrane protein (LAMP2) and cathepsin K (CTSK), and marked reduction in resorbing activity. Thus, these findings suggest that Rab27A regulates normal transport of cell surface receptors modulating multinucleation and LROs in OCLs.
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