The role(s) of Src kinase and Cbl proteins in the regulation of osteoclast differentiation and function

Immunol Rev. 2005 Dec;208:106-25. doi: 10.1111/j.0105-2896.2005.00335.x.


The osteoclast resorbs mineralized bone during bone development, homeostasis, and repair. The deletion of the gene encoding the nonreceptor tyrosine kinase c-Src produces an osteopetrotic skeletal phenotype that is the consequence of the inability of the mature osteoclast to efficiently resorb bone. Src-/- osteoclasts exhibit reduced motility and abnormal organization of the apical secretory domain (the ruffled border) and attachment-related cytoskeletal elements that are necessary for bone resorption. A key function of Src in osteoclasts is to promote the rapid assembly and disassembly of the podosomes, the specialized integrin-based attachment structures of osteoclasts and other highly motile cells. Once recruited to the activated integrins, especially alphavbeta3), by the adhesion tyrosine kinase Pyk2, Src binds and phosphorylates Cbl and Cbl-b, homologous multisite adapter proteins with ubiquitin ligase activity. The Cbl proteins in turn recruit and activate additional signaling effectors, including phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase and dynamin, which play key roles in the development of cell polarity and the regulation of cell attachment and motility. In addition, Src and the Cbl proteins contribute to signaling cascades that are activated by several important receptors, including receptor activator of nuclear factor kappaB and the macrophage colony-stimulating factor receptor, and also downregulate the signaling from many of these receptors.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Resorption / etiology
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Dynamins / physiology
  • Humans
  • Osteoclasts / cytology
  • Osteoclasts / physiology*
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / physiology
  • Protein Conformation
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-cbl / chemistry
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-cbl / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction
  • src Homology Domains
  • src-Family Kinases / chemistry
  • src-Family Kinases / physiology*


  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-cbl
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases
  • src-Family Kinases
  • Dynamins