The essential signaling pathway for normal osteoclastogenesis. Under physiologic conditions, RANKL produced by osteoblasts binds to RANK on the surface of osteoclast precursors and recruits the adaptor protein TRAF6, leading to NF-κB activation and translocation to the nucleus. NF-κB increases c-Fos expression and c-Fos interacts with NFATc1 to trigger the transcription of osteoclastogenic genes. OPG inhibits the initiation of the process by binding to RANKL. NFAT, nuclear factor of activated T cells; NF-κB, nuclear factor-κB; OPG, osteoprotegerin; RANKL, receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand; TRAF, tumor necrosis factor receptor associated factor.
Boyce and Xing Arthritis Research & Therapy 2007 9(Suppl 1):S1 doi:10.1186/ar2165