Fas binding to calmodulin regulates apoptosis in osteoclasts

Xiaojun Wu, Eun Young Ahn, Margaret A. McKenna, Hyeonju Yeo, Jay M. McDonald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Promotion of osteoclast apoptosis is one therapeutic approach to osteoporosis. Calmodulin, the major intracellular Ca2+ receptor, modulates both osteoclastogenesis and bone resorption. The calmodulin antagonist, trifluoperazine, rescues bone loss in ovariectomized mice (Zhang, L., Feng, X., and McDonald, J. M. (2003) Endocrinology 144, 4536-4543). We show here that a 3-h treatment of mouse osteoclasts with either of the calmodulin antagonists, tamoxifen or trifluoperazine, induces osteoclast apoptosis dose-dependently. Tamoxifen, 10 μM, and trifluoperazine, 10 μM, induce 7.3 ± 1.8-fold and 5.3 ± 0.9-fold increases in osteoclast apoptosis, respectively. In Jurkat cells, calmodulin binds to Fas, the death receptor, and this binding is regulated during Fas-mediated apoptosis (Ahn, E. Y., Lim, S. T., Cook, W. J., and McDonald, J. M. (2004) J. Biol. Chem. 279, 5661-5666). In osteoclasts, calmodulin also binds Fas. When osteoclasts are treated with 10 μM trifluoperazine, the binding between Fas and calmodulin is dramatically decreased at 15 min and gradually recovers by 60 min. A point mutation of the Fas death domain in the Lpr-cg mouse renders Fas inactive. Using glutathione S-transferase fusion proteins, the human Fas cytoplasmic domain is shown to bind calmodulin, whereas a point mutation (V254N) comparable with the Lpr-cg mutation in mice has markedly reduced calmodulin binding. Osteoclasts derived from Lpr-cg mice have diminished calmodulin/Fas binding and are more sensitive to calmodulin antagonist-induced apoptosis than those from wild-type mice. Both tamoxifen- and trifluoperazine-induced apoptosis are increased 1.6 ± 0.2-fold in Lpr-cg-derived osteoclasts compared with osteoclasts derived from wild-type mice. In summary, calmodulin antagonists induce apoptosis in osteoclasts by a mechanism involving interference with calmodulin binding to Fas. The effects of calmodulin/Fas binding on calmodulin antagonist-induced apoptosis may open a new avenue for therapy for osteoporosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29964-29970
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number33
StatePublished - Aug 19 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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