Osteoclastic bone resorption by a polarized vacuolar proton pump

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Science  25 Aug 1989:
Vol. 245, Issue 4920, pp. 855-857
DOI: 10.1126/science.2528207


Bone resorption depends on the formation, by osteoclasts, of an acidic extracellular compartment wherein matrix is degraded. The mechanism by which osteoclasts transport protons into that resorptive microenvironment was identified by means of adenosine triphosphate-dependent weak base accumulation in isolated osteoclast membrane vesicles, which exhibited substrate and inhibition properties characteristic of the vacuolar, electrogenic H+-transporting adenosine triphosphatase (H+-ATPase). Identify of the proton pump was confirmed by immunoblot of osteoclast membrane proteins probed with antibody to vacuolar H+-ATPase isolated from bovine kidney. The osteoclast's H+-ATPase was immunocytochemically localized to the cell-bone attachment site. Immunoelectron microscopy showed that the H+-ATPase was present in the ruffled membrane, the resorptive organ of the cell.

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