Paget's disease of bone is characterized by highly localized areas of increased bone resorption accompanied by exuberant, but aberrant new bone formation with the primary cellular abnormality in osteoclasts. Paget's disease provides an important paradigm for understanding the molecular mechanisms regulating both osteoclast formation and osteoclast-induced osteoblast activity. Both genetic and environmental etiologies have been implicated in Paget's disease, but their relative contributions are just beginning to be defined. To date, the only gene with mutations in the coding region linked to Paget's disease is sequestosome-1 (SQSTM1), which encodes the p62 protein, and these mutations lead to elevated cytokine activation of NF-B in osteoclasts but do not induce a "pagetic osteoclast" phenotype. Further, genetic mutations linked to Paget's appear insufficient to cause Paget's disease and additional susceptibility loci or environmental factors may be required. Among the environmental factors suggested to induce Paget's disease, chronic measles (MV) infection has been the most studied. Expression of the measles virus nucleocapsid gene (MVNP) in osteoclasts induces pagetic-like osteoclasts and bone lesions in mice. Further, mice expressing both MVNP in osteoclasts and germline mutant p62 develop dramatic pagetic bone lesions that were strikingly similar to those seen in patients with Paget's disease. Thus, interactions between environmental and genetic factors appear important to the development of Paget's disease. In this article we review the mechanisms responsible for the effects of mutant p62 gene expression and MVNP on osteoclast and osteoblast activity, and how they may contribute to the development of Paget's disease of bone.