BoneKEy Reports | BoneKEy Watch

MicroRNA-214 suppresses osteoblast differentiation by binding to Osterix


This study investigated how microRNAs (miRNAs) regulate Osterix (Osx), a transcription factor expressed in osteoblasts that is necessary for the differentiation of osteoblasts and, thus, is essential for bone formation.

Using the results of previous bioinformatic analyses, Shi et al. focused on miR-214, a predicted Osx regulator. They first used a luciferase reporter assay based on a construct containing the 3′ untranslated region of Osx (3′ UTR) to demonstrate direct binding of miR-214 to the Osx gene at two separate binding sites.

Human Saos-2 and U2OS cells, which are both osteoblast-like cell types, were then used to explore the relationship between Osx and miR-214 expression. Forcing expression of miR-214 inhibited the expression of Osx, leading to the conclusion that the expression of Osx is regulated by miR-214, which inhibits Osx protein synthesis. Further experiments in mouse C2C12 myoblast cells showed that reduced expression of miR-214 enhanced the osteogenic differentiation that was inducible by bone morphogenetic protein 2.

Editor’s comment: These results provide an interesting insight into the role of miRNAs in osteoblastogenesis and suggest that miR-214 is a previously unrecognized regulator of Osx. It appears to be important in controlling the differentiation of C2C12 myoblast cells into osteoblasts and acts as a suppressor of the osteogenic phenotype pathway.

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