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Eur J Hum Genet. 2014 May;22(5):625-32. doi: 10.1038/ejhg.2013.221. Epub 2013 Oct 2.

Identification of potential microRNA-target pairs associated with osteopetrosis by deep sequencing, iTRAQ proteomics and bioinformatics.

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  • 1Key Laboratory of Laboratory Medical Diagnostics, Ministry of Education, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China.


MicroRNAs aberrantly express in many human diseases including some metabolic bone disorders. They have been found to be associated with osteoclast differentiation and function, which makes them attractive candidates for the therapy of bone. However, the potential clinical application of microRNAs in therapeutics rests heavily upon our in-depth understanding of microRNAs and their targets. To identify potential microRNA-target pairs associated with osteopetrosis, we performed a system approach including deep sequencing, iTRAQ quantitative proteomics, and bioinformatics in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) taken from patients with osteopetrosis and health donors. Notably, 123 differently expressed microRNAs, 173 differently expressed proteins, and 117 computationally predicted microRNA-target pairs with reciprocally expressed level in PBMCs were found in the two sample groups. Functional annotation identified that the microRNA-target pairs were involved in cell growth, differentiation, cellular signaling network, and the network highlighted the microRNA-target pair of has-miR-320a and ADP ribosylation factor 1 (Arf1) potentially associated with CLCN7 mutations in osteopetrosis. The pair of has-miR-320a and Arf1 was further verified by real-time PCR, western blot, and the interaction between has-miR-320a and its targeted sequence on the Arf1 mRNAs was confirmed by luciferase assay. Collectively, the present study established a new system approach for the investigation of microRNAs, and the microRNA-target pairs, particular has-miR-320a and Arf1, may have important roles in osteopetrosis.

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