The regulation of RANKL by mechanical force

J Bone Miner Metab. 2021 Jan;39(1):34-44. doi: 10.1007/s00774-020-01145-7. Epub 2020 Sep 5.


Receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand (RANKL) is a key mediator of osteoclast differentiation and bone resorption. Osteoblast-lineage cells including osteoblasts and osteocytes express RANKL, which is regulated by several different factors, including hormones, cytokines, and mechanical forces. In vivo and in vitro analyses have demonstrated that various types of mechanosensing proteins on the cell membrane (i.e. mechanosensors) and intracellular mechanosignaling proteins play essential roles in the differentiation and functions of osteoblasts, osteoclasts, and osteocytes via soluble factors, such as sclerostin, Wnt ligands, and RANKL. This section provides an overview of the in vivo and in vitro evidence for the regulation of RANKL expression by mechanosensing and mechanotransduction.

Keywords: Mechanosensing; Mechanotransduction; Osteoblast; Osteoclast; Osteocyte.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Cellular Microenvironment
  • Humans
  • Mechanotransduction, Cellular
  • Models, Biological
  • RANK Ligand / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction


  • RANK Ligand