Cathepsin K is a recently identified lysosomal cysteine proteinase. It is abundant in osteoclasts, where it is believed to play a vital role in the resorption and remodeling of bone. Pycnodysostosis is a rare inherited osteochondrodysplasia that is caused by mutations of the cathepsin-K gene, characterized by osteosclerosis, short stature, and acroosteolysis of the distal phalanges. With a view to delineating the role of cathepsin K in bone resorption, we generated mice with a targeted disruption of this proteinase. Cathepsin-K-deficient mice survive and are fertile, but display an osteopetrotic phenotype with excessive trabeculation of the bone-marrow space. Cathepsin-K-deficient osteoclasts manifested a modified ultrastructural appearance: their resorptive surface was poorly defined with a broad demineralized matrix fringe containing undigested fine collagen fibrils; their ruffled borders lacked crystal-like inclusions, and they were devoid of collagen-fibril-containing cytoplasmic vacuoles. Assaying the resorptive activity of cathepsin-K-deficient osteoclasts in vitro revealed this function to be severely impaired, which supports the contention that cathepsin K is of major importance in bone remodeling.
SciCrunch is a data sharing and display platform. Anyone can create a custom portal where they can select searchable subsets of hundreds of data sources, brand their web pages and create their community. SciCrunch will push data updates automatically to all portals on a weekly basis. User communities can also add their own data to scicrunch, however this is not currently a free service.