The process of sealing ring formation requires major actin filament reorganization. We previously demonstrated that an actin-bundling protein L-plastin has a role in the cross-linking of actin filaments into tight bundles and forms actin aggregates (denoted as nascent sealing zones). These nascent sealing zones mature into fully functional sealing rings. We have shown here that TNF-alpha signaling regulates the phosphorylation of serine-5 and -7 in L-plastin which increases the actin bundling capacity of L-plastin and hence the formation of nascent sealing zones in mouse osteoclasts. Using the TAT-mediated transduction method, we confirmed the role of L-plastin in nascent sealing zones formation at the early phase of the sealing ring assembly. Transduction of TAT-fused full-length L-plastin peptide significantly increases the number of nascent sealing zones and therefore sealing rings. But, transduction of amino-terminal L-plastin peptides consisting of the serine-5 and -7 reduces the formation of both nascent sealing zones and sealing rings. Therefore, bone resorption in vitro was reduced considerably. The decrease was associated with the selective inhibition of cellular L-plastin phosphorylation by the transduced peptides. Neither the formation of podosomes nor the migration was affected in these osteoclasts.
Phosphorylation of L- plastin on serine 5 and -7 residues increases the F-actin bundling capacity. The significance of our studies stands on laying the groundwork for a better understanding of L-plastin as a potential regulator at the early phase of sealing ring formation and could be a new therapeutic target to treat bone loss