Bone resorption relies on the extracellular acidification function of V-ATPase (vacuolar-type proton-translocating ATPase) proton pump(s) present in the plasma membrane of osteoclasts. The exact configuration of the osteoclast-specific ruffled border V-ATPases remains largely unknown. In the present study, we found that the V-ATPase subunit Atp6v1c1 (C1) is highly expressed in osteoclasts, whereas subunits Atp6v1c2a (C2a) and Atp6v1c2b (C2b) are not. The expression level of C1 is highly induced by RANKL [receptor activator for NF-κB (nuclear factor κB) ligand] during osteoclast differentiation; C1 interacts with Atp6v0a3 (a3) and is mainly localized on the ruffled border of activated osteoclasts. The results of the present study show for the first time that C1-silencing by lentivirus-mediated RNA interference severely impaired osteoclast acidification activity and bone resorption, whereas cell differentiation did not appear to be affected, which is similar to a3 silencing. The F-actin (filamentous actin) ring formation was severely defected in C1-depleted osteoclasts but not in a3-depleted and a3−/− osteoclasts. C1 co-localized with microtubules in the plasma membrane and its vicinity in mature osteoclasts. In addition, C1 co-localized with F-actin in the cytoplasm; however, the co-localization chiefly shifted to the cell periphery of mature osteoclasts. The present study demonstrates that Atp6v1c1 is an essential component of the osteoclast proton pump at the osteoclast ruffled border and that it may regulate F-actin ring formation in osteoclast activation.

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