The small GTPase RhoA is crucial for MC3T3-E1 osteoblastic cell survival

Tomohiko Yoshida, Mary F. Clark, Paula H. Stern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Prolongation of cell survival through prevention of apoptosis is considered to be a significant factor leading to anabolic responses in bone. The current studies were carried out to determine the role of the small GTPase, RhoA, in osteoblast apoptosis, since RhoA has been found to be critical for cell survival in other tissues. We investigated the effects of inhibitors and activators of RhoA signaling on osteoblast apoptosis. In addition, we assessed the relationship of this pathway to parathyroid hormone (PTH) effects on apoptotic signaling and cell survival. RhoA is activated by geranylgeranylation, which promotes its membrane anchoring. In serum-starved MC3T3-E1 osteoblastic cells, inhibition of geranylgeranylation with geranylgeranyl transferase I inhibitors increased activity of caspase-3, a component step in the apoptosis cascade, and increased cell death. Dominant negative RhoA and Y27632, an inhibitor of the RhoA effector Rho kinase, also increased caspase-3 activity. A geranylgeranyl group donor, geranylgeraniol, antagonized the effect of the geranylgeranyl tranferase I inhibitor GGTI-2166, but could not overcome the effect of the Rho kinase inhibitor. PTH 1-34, a potent anti-apoptotic agent, completely antagonized the stimulatory effects of GGTI-2166, dominant negative RhoA, and Y27632, on caspase-3 activity. The results suggest that RhoA signaling is essential for osteoblastic cell survival but that the survival effects of PTH 1-34 are independent of this pathway. J. Cell. Biochem. 106: 896- 902, 2009.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)896-902
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Cellular Biochemistry
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 1 2009


  • Apoptosis
  • Osteoblast
  • Parathyroid hormone
  • RhoA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'The small GTPase RhoA is crucial for MC3T3-E1 osteoblastic cell survival'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this