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J Cell Biochem. 2011 Jul;112(7):1844-56. doi: 10.1002/jcb.23106.

MicroRNA expression during osteogenic differentiation of human multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells from bone marrow.

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Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Tangdu Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, Shanxi 710038, PR China.


MicroRNAs comprise a group of non-coding small RNAs (17-25‚ÄČnt) involved in post-transcriptional regulation that have been identified in various plants and animals. Studies have demonstrated that miRNAs are associated with stem cell self-renewal and differentiation and play a key role in controlling stem cell activities. However, the identification of specific miRNAs and their regulatory roles in the differentiation of multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) have so far been poorly defined. We isolated and cultured human MSCs and osteo-differentiated MSCs from four individual donors. miRNA expression in MSCs and osteo-differentiated MSCs was investigated using miRNA microarrays. miRNAs that were commonly expressed in all three MSC preparations and miRNAs that were differentially expressed between MSCs and osteo-differentiated MSCs were identified. Four underexpressed (hsa-miR-31, hsa-miR-106a, hsa-miR-148a, and hsa-miR-424) and three novel overexpressed miRNAs (hsa-miR-30c, hsa-miR-15b, and hsa-miR-130b) in osteo-differentiated MSCs were selected and their expression were verified in samples from the fourth individual donors. The putative targets of the miRNAs were predicted using bioinformatic analysis. The four miRNAs that were underexpressed in osteo-differentiated MSCs were predicted to target RUNX2, CBFB, and BMPs, which are involved in bone formation; while putative targets for miRNAs overexpressed in osteo-differentiated MSCs were MSC maker (e.g., CD44, ITGB1, and FLT1), stemness-maintaining factor (e.g., FGF2 and CXCL12), and genes related to cell differentiation (e.g., BMPER, CAMTA1, and GDF6). Finally, hsa-miR-31 was selected for target verification and function analysis. The results of this study provide an experimental basis for further research on miRNA functions during osteogenic differentiation of human MSCs.

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