Impact of dietary aromatic amino acids on osteoclastic activity

Mona El Refaey, Qing Zhong, Ke Hong Ding, Xing Ming Shi, Jianrui Xu, Wendy B. Bollag, William D. Hill, Norman Chutkan, Richard Robbins, Hugh Nadeau, Maribeth Johnson, Mark W. Hamrick, Carlos M. Isales

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


We had shown that aromatic amino acid (phenylalanine, tyrosine, and tryptophan) supplementation prevented bone loss in an aging C57BL/6 mice model. In vivo results from the markers of bone breakdown suggested an inhibition of osteoclastic activity or differentiation. To assess osteoclastic differentiation, we examined the effects of aromatic amino acids on early /structural markers as vitronectin receptor, calcitonin receptor, and carbonic anhydrase II as well as, late/functional differentiation markers; cathepsin K and matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9). Our data demonstrate that the aromatic amino acids down-regulated early and late osteoclastic differentiation markers as measured by real time PCR. Our data also suggest a link between the vitronectin receptor and the secreted cathepsin K that both showed consistent effects to the aromatic amino acid treatment. However, the non-attachment related proteins, calcitonin receptor, and carbonic anhydrase II, demonstrated less consistent effects in response to treatment. Our data are consistent with aromatic amino acids down-regulating osteoclastic differentiation by suppressing remodeling gene expression thus contributing initially to the net increase in bone mass seen in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)174-182
Number of pages9
JournalCalcified Tissue International
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2014


  • Amino acids
  • Calcitonin receptor
  • Carbonic anhydrase II
  • Cathepsin K
  • Osteoclast

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Endocrinology

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