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Osteoclasts are large multinucleated cells responsible for bone resorption. Excessive inflammatory activation of osteoclasts leads to bony erosions, which are the hallmark of several diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Salt-inducible kinases (SIK) constitute a subfamily of kinases comprising three members (SIK1, -2, and -3). Inhibition of SIK kinase activity induces an anti-inflammatory phenotype in macrophages. Since osteoclasts originate from precursors of macrophage origin, we hypothesized a role of SIK in osteoclastogenesis. We analyzed SIK1, -2 and -3 expression and function in osteoclast differentiation using the mouse macrophage cell line RAW264.7 and bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMM). We show that all three SIK are expressed in fully differentiated osteoclasts and that in BMM-derived osteoclasts there is an increased expression of SIK1 and SIK3 proteins. Interestingly, the pan-SIK inhibitor HG-9-91-01 significantly inhibited osteoclastogenesis by dose dependently reducing osteoclast differentiation markers (i.e. CathepsinK, MMP-9 and TRAP) and bone resorbing activity. Analysis of the signaling pathways activated by RANKL in RAW cells showed that SIK inhibitors did not affect RANKL-induced ERK1/2, JNK, p38 or NF-κB activation, but induced a significant downregulation in c-Fos and NFATc1 protein levels, the two main transcription factors involved in the regulation of osteoclast-specific genes. Moreover, SIK inhibition partially increased the proteasome-mediated degradation of c-Fos. SIK2 and SIK3 knockout RAW cells were generated by the CRISPR/Cas9 approach. SIK2 KO and, to a lesser extent, SIK3 KO recapitulated the effect of SIK small molecule inhibitor, thus confirming the specificity of the effect of SIK inhibition on the reduction of osteoclastogenesis. Overall, our results support the notion that the SIK signaling pathway plays a significant role among the check-points controlling osteoclastogenesis. SIK kinase inhibitors could thus represent a potential novel therapy to prevent bone erosions.


Maria Stella Lombardi, Corine Gilliéron, Majoska Berkelaar, Cem Gabay. Salt-inducible kinases (SIK) inhibition reduces RANKL-induced osteoclastogenesis. PloS one. 2017;12(10):e0185426

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PMID: 28973003

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