Growing evidence shows that microRNAs (miRNAs) regulate various developmental and homeostatic events in vertebrates and invertebrates. Osteoblast differentiation is a key step in proper skeletal development and acquisition of bone mass; however, the physiological role of non-coding small RNAs, especially miRNAs, in osteoblast differentiation remains elusive. Here, through comprehensive analysis of miRNAs expression during osteoblast differentiation, we show that miR-206, previously viewed as a muscle-specific miRNA, is a key regulator of this process. miR-206 was expressed in osteoblasts, and its expression decreased over the course of osteoblast differentiation. Overexpression of miR-206 in osteoblasts inhibited their differentiation, and conversely, knockdown of miR-206 expression promoted osteoblast differentiation. In silico analysis and molecular experiments revealed connexin 43 (Cx43), a major gap junction protein in osteoblasts, as a target of miR-206, and restoration of Cx43 expression in miR-206-expressing osteoblasts rescued them from the inhibitory effect of miR-206 on osteoblast differentiation. Finally, transgenic mice expressing miR-206 in osteoblasts developed a low bone mass phenotype due to impaired osteoblast differentiation. Our data show that miRNA is a regulator of osteoblast differentiation.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|Publication status||Published - 2009 Dec 8|
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