The RhoGAP activity of myosin IXB is critical for osteoclast podosome patterning, motility, and resorptive capacity

PLoS One. 2014 Jan 23;9(1):e87402. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0087402. eCollection 2014.


Osteoclasts are large, multinucleated cells of the monocyte-macrophage lineage that generate specialized substrate adhesion complexes to facilitate their function as bone-degrading cells. The patterning and function of these actin-based complexes, podosomes and sealing zones, are regulated by the small GTPase Rho. Myosin IXB (Myo9b) is a unique actin-based motor protein that contains a RhoGAP domain, which, like other RhoGAPs, is inhibitory to Rho signaling. In this study, Myo9b is shown to be expressed in osteoclasts and act as a critical regulator of podosome patterning and osteoclast function. SiRNA-mediated knockdown of Myo9b results in increased activity of Rho but not Rac in osteoclasts. Knockdown in osteoclasts on glass results in altered podosome patterning and decreased motility, and this effect is reversed by addition of a Rho inhibitor. SiRNA-mediated suppression of Myo9b expression in osteoclasts on bone results in a dramatic loss of resorptive capacity even though sealing zones appear normal. This loss of resorption is also reversible with addition of a Rho inhibitor. Cells with diminished Myo9b levels display mislocalization and suppressed activation of Src, a tyrosine kinase with critical effects on osteoclast actin cytoskeletal rearrangement and function. In addition, siRNA-treated cells display poorly formed microtubule networks and a lack of tubulin acetylation, a marker of microtubule stability. However, short-term addition of TNFα to cells with suppressed Myo9b levels overcomes or circumvents these defects and causes increased sealing zone size and resorptive capacity. These results indicate that the RhoGAP activity of Myo9b plays a key role in regulating the actin-based structures necessary for osteoclast motility and resorption, and confirms that Myo9b can act as a motorized signaling molecule that links Rho signaling to the dynamic actin cytoskeleton.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Blotting, Western
  • Bone Resorption / physiopathology*
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / metabolism*
  • Cell Movement / physiology*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Indoles
  • Mice
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Multiprotein Complexes / metabolism*
  • Myosins / metabolism*
  • Osteoclasts / metabolism
  • Osteoclasts / physiology*
  • RNA Interference


  • Actins
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Indoles
  • Multiprotein Complexes
  • myosin IXB
  • DAPI
  • Myosins