Jpn. J. Pharmacol. 86 (1), 86-96 (2001)

Incadronate and Etidronate Accelerate Phosphate-Primed Mineralization of MC4 Cells via ERK1/2-Cbfa1 Signaling Pathway in a Ras-Independent Manner: Further Involvement of Mevalonate-Pathway Blockade for Incadronate

Takashi Fujita, Nobuo Izumo, Ryo Fukuyama, Toru Meguro, Chigusa Yasutomi, Hiromichi Nakamuta and Masao Koida*

Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Setsunan University, Hirakata 573-010, Japan

*Corresponding author. FAX: +81-72-866-3108, E-mail:

Abstract: Two types of bisphosphonates (BPs), incadronate (INC) and etidronate (ETI) accelerated phosphate (Pi)-primed mineralization of MC4 cells in a subnanomolar dose range. Intracellular signaling pathways involved were examined. 1) The effect of INC but not ETI was partially suppressed by two mevalonate (MVA) pathway metabolites, farnesylpyrophosphate (FPP) and geranylgeranylpyrophosphate (GGPP). 2) The BP-like accelerating effect was produced by statins and also by Toxin B, a Rho GTPases-specific inhibitor. 3) INC induced Cbfa1-nuclear localization within hours; and in an in vivo experiment using ovariectomized mice, its 3 weeks dosing exhibited the same effect in tibial extracts. 4) BPs promoted luciferase expression in murine p1.3-osteocalcin gene 2-luc and p6-osteoblast specific element 2-luc transfected cells, just as MVA, FPP and GGPP did independently and additively to INC. 5) BPs activated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK1/2) in a Ras-independent manner within 5 min, and Pi was found to sensitize MC4 cells to BPs. MVA and its metabolites also activated ERKs but in a Ras-dependent manner and additively to INC. Ras dependency was determined using N17Ras-transfected cells. A MEK (MAP kinase-ERK kinase)-specific inhibitor PD98059 alone partly and with FPP completely blocked INC-induced mineralization. The results suggest that BPs act on Pi-sensitized MC4 cells to accelerate mineralization via nonRas-MEK-ERK1/2-Cbfa1 transactivation pathway and INC additionally acts by inhibiting the MVA pathway.

Keywords: Bisphosphonate, Extracellular signal-regulated kinase, Runx2/Cbfa1, Ras, Statin
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