Wei Zou and Steven L. Teitelbaum
In vitro, ligand occupancy of αvβ3 integrin induces phosphorylation of Dap12, which is essential for osteoclast function. Like mice deleted of only αvβ3, Dap12−/− mice exhibited a slight increase in bone mass, but Dap12−/− mice, lacking another ITAM protein, FcRγ, were severely osteopetrotic. The mechanism by which FcRγ compensates for Dap12 deficiency is unknown. We find that co-deletion of FcRγ did not exacerbate the skeletal phenotype of β3−/− mice. In contrast, β3/Dap12 double-deficient (DAP/β3−/−) mice (but not β1/Dap12 double-deficient mice) were profoundly osteopetrotic, reflecting severe osteoclast dysfunction relative to those lacking αvβ3 or Dap12 alone. Activation of OSCAR, the FcRγ co-receptor, rescued Dap12−/− but not DAP/β3−/−osteoclasts. Thus, the absence of αvβ3 precluded compensation for Dap12 deficiency by FcRγ. In keeping with this, Syk phosphorylation did not occur in OSCAR-activated DAP/β3−/− osteoclasts. Thus, FcRγ requires the osteoclast αvβ3 integrin to normalize the Dap12-deficient skeleton.