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Although bisphosphonates have been shown to be potent inhibitors of osteoclast-mediated bone resorption in vivo and in vitro and are used as therapeutic agents in hyper-resorptive bone diseases such as Paget disease or hypercalcemia of malignancy, their exact biochemical target(s) and mode(s) of action are for the most part still unknown. The resorption of bone requires solubilization of the mineral component of the matrix, achieved by acidification of the resorbing compartment by a vacuolar-type proton ATPase (V-ATPase) present in the ruffled border membrane of osteoclasts. Since we have shown that the V-ATPase is inhibited by both ADP and phosphate, which share structural characteristics with bisphosphonates, we hypothesized that inhibition of the osteoclast V-ATPase could be one of the mechanism(s) by which bisphosphonates inhibit bone resorption. Pyrophosphate and the bisphosphonates etidronate, alendronate, and YM-175 inhibited proton transport in membrane vesicles derived from chicken kidney and osteoclasts but with very low potency (IC50 > or = 5 mM). In contrast, the ability of tiludronate to inhibit proton transport was 5-fold higher in kidney-derived vesicles (IC50 = 1.1 mM) and 10,000-fold higher in vesicles derived from osteoclasts (IC50 = 466 nM). Tiludronate also potently inhibited proton transport in yeast microsomal preparations (IC50 = 3.5 microM) and inhibited the activity of purified yeast V-ATPase. The inhibition of the osteoclast V-ATPase-mediated proton transport by tiludronate was rapid, pH-dependent, and reversible. No change in membrane vesicle permeability to protons was detected. The inhibition was noncompetitive with respect to ATP, and tiludronate did not protect the pump from inactivation by N-ethylmaleimide, strongly suggesting that tiludronate does not bind to the catalytic site of the enzyme. It is concluded that tiludronate is a significantly more potent inhibitor of V-ATPase than other bisphosphonates and that it has a significant degree of selectivity for the avian osteoclast V-ATPase relative to the avian kidney V-ATPase.


P David, H Nguyen, A Barbier, R Baron. The bisphosphonate tiludronate is a potent inhibitor of the osteoclast vacuolar H(+)-ATPase. Journal of bone and mineral research : the official journal of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research. 1996 Oct;11(10):1498-507

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PMID: 8889850

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