[Truncated abstract] Osteoclasts are multinucleated giant cells responsible for the resorption of the mineralized bone matrix during the process of bone remodelling. During activation towards bone resorption, polarization of the osteoclast results in the formation of a unique plasma membrane, the ruffled border, the actual resorptive organelle of the osteoclast. Through this domain protons are actively pumped into the resorption lacuna creating an acidic microenvironment that favours the dissolution of the mineralized bone matrix. The polarised secretion of protons is carried out by the action of the vacuolar-type (H+)-ATPase (V-ATPase), composed of functionally and structurally distinct subunits of the V1 and V0 domains. The general structure of the V-ATPase complex is highly conserved from yeast to mammals, however, multiple isoforms for specific V-ATPase subunits do exist exhibiting differential subcellular, cellular and tissue-specific localizations. This study focuses on the molecular identification and characterization of V-ATPase accessory subunit Ac45 and the d2 isoform of the V0 domain d subunit in osteoclasts. Using the techniques of cDNA Subtractive Hybridization and DNA Micro-Array analyses respectively, the accessory subunit Ac45 and the d2 isoform of the V0 domain d subunit were identified in RAW264.7-cells derived OcLs. ... Using web-based computational predictions, two possible transmembrane domains, an N-terminus 'signal anchor' sequence and a C-terminus dilysine- like endoplasmic reticulum (ER) retention signal were identified. By confocal microscopy, EYFP-tagged e was found to localize to the perinuclear region of transfected COS-7 cells in compartments representing the ER and Golgi apparatus with some localization in late endosomal/lysosomal-like vesicles. ER truncation of e did not alter its subcellular localization but exhibited significantly weaker association with Ac45 compared to the wild-type as depicted by BRET analyses. Association with the other V0 subunits remain unaffected. This may hint at a possibility that Ac45 may play a role in the masking of the ER signal of e following it's incorporation into the V0 domain. Although no solid evidence for a role in the assembly of the mammalian VATPase have been established, subunit e still represents a potential candidate whose role in the V-ATPase complex requires further investigation. Collectively, the data presented in this thesis has provided further insight into the composition of the osteoclast V-ATPase proton pump by: 1) identifying an accessory subunit, Ac45 which shows promise as a potential candidate for the regulation and/or targeting of the V-ATPase complex in osteoclasts and truncation of its targeting signal impairs osteoclastic bone resorption; 2) identification and preliminary characterization of the d2 isoform of the V0 domain d subunit whose exact role in the V-ATPase complex and in osteoclasts remains to be determined, although its has been implicated to be essential for osteoclastic function; and 3) Preliminary characterization of subunit-e, a potential assembly factor candidate for the mammalian V-ATPase V0 domain.
|Qualification||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Publication status||Unpublished - 2007|