Transduction of TAT fusion proteins into osteoclasts and osteoblasts

Svetlana Dolgilevich, Neeha Zaidi, Jianbo Song, Etsuko Abe, Baljit S. Moonga, Li Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


It has been difficult to transduce primary cultures of bone cells with proteins of interest. Here, we report the development and validation of a new technology for transduction of osteoblasts and osteoclasts with peptides and moderately sized proteins. Fusion proteins between TAT, an 11 amino acid Arg-rich sequence derived from the HIV protein, and either hemagglutinin or calcineurin Aα were synthesized and purified. Exposure of osteoblasts and osteoclasts in primary culture to either TAT-HA or TAT-calcineurin Aα resulted in a rapid (within 10 min) intracellular movement of the fusion protein evident on co-immunostaining. Almost 99% of cells were transduced and the fusion protein was retained in ∼50% of the cells for up to 5 days. TAT did not abolish the functionality of calcineurin Aα; the fusion protein stimulated osteoblast differentiation and inhibited osteoclastic resorption. We expect that our studies will provide a firm basis for the future development of TAT fusion proteins for critical molecules involved in bone cell differentiation and function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)505-509
Number of pages5
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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