Complete abrogation of key osteoclast markers with a membrane-anchored tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase

Y. Zhang, B. Jiang, P. Zhang, S. K. Chiu, M. H. Lee*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Aims Tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs) are the endogenous inhibitors of the zinc-dependent matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) and A disintegrin and metalloproteinases (ADAM) involved in extracellular matrix modulation. The present study aims to develop the TIMPs as biologics for osteoclast-related disorders. Methods We examine the inhibitory effect of a high affinity, glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol-anchored TIMP variant named ‘T1PrαTACE’ on receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa-Β ligand (RANKL)induced osteoclast differentiation. Results Osteoclast progenitor cells transduced with T1PrαTACE failed to form tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP)-positive osteoclasts or exhibit bone-resorbing activity following treatment with RANKL. At the messenger RNA level, T1PrαTACE strongly attenuated expression of key osteoclast marker genes that included TRAP, cathepsin K, osteoclast stimulatory transmembrane protein (OC-STAMP), dendritic cell-specific transmembrane protein (DC-STAMP), osteoclast-associated receptor (OSCAR), and ATPase H+-transporting V0 subunit d2 (ATP6V0D2) by blocking autoamplification of nuclear factor of activated T cells 1 (NFATc1), the osteoclastogenic transcription factor. T1PrαTACE selectively extended p44/42 mitogen-activated protein kinase activation, an action that may have interrupted terminal differentiation of osteoclasts. Inhibition studies with broad-spectrum hydroxamate inhibitors confirmed that the anti-resorptive activity of T1PrαTACE was not reliant on its metalloproteinase-inhibitory activity. Conclusion T1PrαTACE disrupts the RANKL-NFATc1 signalling pathway, which leads to osteoclast dysfunction. As a novel candidate in the prevention of osteoclastogenesis, the TIMP could potentially be developed for the treatment of osteoclast-related disorders such as osteoporosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)763-776
Number of pages14
JournalBone and Joint Research
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022


  • Cathepsin K
  • Osteoclastogenesis
  • Osteoclasts
  • TIMP
  • TRAP


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