Taurine inhibits serum deprivation-induced osteoblast apoptosis via the taurine transporter/ERK signaling pathway

Braz J Med Biol Res. 2011 Jul;44(7):618-23. doi: 10.1590/s0100-879x2011007500078. Epub 2011 Jun 21.


Taurine has positive effects on bone metabolism. However, the effects of taurine on osteoblast apoptosis in vitro have not been reported. The aim of this study was to investigate the activity of taurine on apoptosis of mouse osteoblastic MC3T3-E1 cells. The data showed that 1, 5, 10, or 20 mM taurine resulted in 16.7, 34.2, 66.9, or 63.75% reduction of MC3T3-E1 cell apoptosis induced by the serum deprivation (serum-free α-MEM), respectively. Taurine (1, 5, or 10 mM) also reduced cytochrome c release and inhibited activation of caspase-3 and -9, which were measured using fluorogenic substrates for caspase-3/caspase-9, in serum-deprived MC3T3-E1 cells. Furthermore, taurine (10 mM) induced extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) phosphorylation in MC3T3-E1 cells. Knockdown of the taurine transporter (TAUT) or treatment with the ERK-specific inhibitor PD98059 (10 μM) blocked the activation of ERK induced by taurine (10 mM) and abolished the anti-apoptotic effect of taurine (10 mM) in MC3T3-E1 cells. The present results demonstrate for the first time that taurine inhibits serum deprivation-induced osteoblast apoptosis via the TAUT/ERK signaling pathway.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 3T3 Cells
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Apoptosis / physiology*
  • Caspase 3 / metabolism
  • Caspase 9 / metabolism
  • Cattle
  • Extracellular Signal-Regulated MAP Kinases / metabolism*
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / metabolism*
  • Membrane Transport Proteins / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Osteoblasts / drug effects*
  • Osteoblasts / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Taurine / pharmacology*


  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Membrane Transport Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • taurine transporter
  • Taurine
  • Extracellular Signal-Regulated MAP Kinases
  • Caspase 3
  • Caspase 9