DC-STAMP is essential for cell-cell fusion in osteoclasts and foreign body giant cells

Mitsuru Yagi, Takeshi Miyamoto, Yumi Sawatani, Katsuya Iwamoto, Naobumi Hosogane, Nobuyuki Fujita, Kozo Morita, Ken Ninomiya, Toru Suzuki, Kana Miyamoto, Yuichi Oike, Motohiro Takeya, Yoshiaki Toyama, Toshio Suda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

723 Citations (Scopus)


Osteoclasts are bone-resorbing cells that play a pivotal role in bone remodeling. Osteoclasts form large multinuclear giant cells by fusion of mononuclear osteoclasts. How cell fusion is mediated, however, is unclear. We identify the dendritic cell-specific transmembrane protein (DC-STAMP), a putative seven-transmembrane protein, by a DNA subtraction screen between multinuclear osteoclasts and mononuclear macrophages. DC-STAMP is highly expressed in osteoclasts but not in macrophages. DC-STAMP-deficient mice were generated, and osteoclast cell fusion was completely abrogated in homozygotes despite normal expression of osteoclast markers and cytoskeletal structure. As osteoclast multinucleation was restored by retroviral introduction of DC-STAMP , loss of cell fusion was directly attributable to a lack of DC-STAMP. Defects in osteoclast multinucleation reduce bone-resorbing activity, leading to osteopetrosis. Similar to osteoclasts, foreign body giant cell formation by macrophage cell fusion was also completely abrogated in DC-STAMP-deficient mice. We have thus identified an essential regulator of osteoclast and macrophage cell fusion, DC-STAMP, and an essential role of osteoclast multinucleation in bone homeostasis. JEM

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)345-351
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Experimental Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Aug 1
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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