Zinc inhibits osteoclast differentiation by suppression of Ca§ssup§2+§esup§-Calcineurin-NFATc1 signaling pathway

Kwang Hwan Park, Boryung Park, Dong Suk Yoon, Seung Hyun Kwon, Dong Min Shin, Jin Woo Lee, Hyun Gyu Lee, Jae Hyuck Shim, Jeon Han Park, Jae Myun Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Zinc, an essential trace element, inhibits osteoclast differentiation in vitro and in vivo. The molecular mechanism for the inhibitory effect of zinc, however, is poorly understood. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of zinc and determine its molecular mechanism on receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL)-induced osteoclastogenesis in mouse bone marrow-derived monocyte cells (BMMs) and RAW264.7 cells. Results: In BMMs, zinc treatment during osteoclast differentiation decreased RANKL-induced osteoclast formation in a dose-dependent manner. We show that zinc suppressed the mRNA levels of nuclear factor of activated T-cells, cytoplasmic 1 (Nfatc1). Zinc also accumulated phospho-Nfatc1 (p-Nfatc1) in the cytosol in a dose-dependent manner and inhibited the translocation of Nfatc1 to the nucleus in RAW264.7 cells. Zinc suppressed the activities of Nfatc1 in the nucleus without changing the activities of NF-κB in RAW264.7 cells. In contrast, calcineurin activity decreased in response to zinc but its protein level was unchanged. RANKL-induced Ca§ssup§2+§esup§ oscillations were inhibited by zinc treatment, but phospho-phospholipase Cγ1 (p-PLCγ1), the upstream signaling molecule of Ca§ssup§2+§ esup§ oscillations, was unaffected. Moreover, a constitutively active form of Nfatc1 obviously rescued suppression of osteoclastogenesis by zinc. Conclusions: Taken together, these results demonstrate for the first time that the inhibitory effect of zinc during osteoclastogesis is caused by suppressing the Ca§ssup§2+§esup§-Calcineurin-NFATc1 signaling pathway. Thus, zinc may be a useful therapeutic candidate for the prevention of bone loss caused by NFATc1 activation in osteoclasts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number74
JournalCell Communication and Signaling
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIP) (No. 2007–0056092). We thank JeeHae Kang for her advice, Dong-Su Jang for his help with the illustrations and Dr. Anjana Rao for gifting a plasmid.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Zinc inhibits osteoclast differentiation by suppression of Ca§ssup§2+§esup§-Calcineurin-NFATc1 signaling pathway'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this