The adaptor protein p62/SQSTM1 in osteoclast signaling pathways

Stephen McManus, Sophie Roux


Paget’s disease of bone (PDB) is a skeletal disorder characterized by focal and disorganized increases in bone turnover and overactive osteoclasts. The discovery of mutations in the SQSTM1/p62 gene in numerous patients has identified protein p62 as an important modulator of bone turnover. In both precursors and mature osteoclasts, the interaction between receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL) and its receptor RANK results in signaling cascades that ultimately activate transcription factors, particularly NF-κB and NFATc1, promoting and regulating the osteoclast differentiation, activity, and survival. As a scaffold with multiple protein-protein interaction motifs, p62 is involved in virtually all the RANKL-activated osteoclast signaling pathways, along with being implicated in numerous other cellular processes. The p62 adaptor protein is one of the functional links reported between RANKL and TRAF6-mediated NF-κB activation, and also plays a major role as a shuttling factor that targets polyubiquitinated proteins for degradation by either the autophagy or proteasome pathways. The dysregulated expression and/or activity of p62 in bone disease up-regulates osteoclast functions. This review aims to outline and summarize the role of p62 in RANKL-induced signaling pathways and in ubiquitin-mediated signaling in osteoclasts, and the impact of PDB-associated p62 mutations on these processes

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How to cite: McManus, S and Roux, S 2012. The adaptor protein p62/SQSTM1 in osteoclast signaling pathways. Journal of Molecular Signaling 7:1, DOI:

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Published on 4 January 2012.

ISSN: 1750-2187 | Published by Ubiquity Press | Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.