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Mol Ther. 2016 Oct;24(10):1726-1733. doi: 10.1038/mt.2016.151. Epub 2016 Jul 29.

The TMSB4 Pseudogene LncRNA Functions as a Competing Endogenous RNA to Promote Cartilage Degradation in Human Osteoarthritis.

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Institute of Sports Medicine, Beijing Key Laboratory of Sports Injuries, Peking University Third Hospital, Beijing, P. R. China.
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Peking University School of Basic Medical Sciences, Beijing, P. R. China.


Mechanical stress plays a key role in the development of cartilage degradation in osteoarthritis (OA). Nevertheless, the role of long noncoding RNAs in mechanical stress-induced regulation of chondrocytes remains unclear. The aim of this study was to explore the function of mechanical stress-related long noncoding RNAs in cartilage. Tissue samples were collected from 50 patients and chondrocytes were exposed to cyclic tensile strain (CTS). A total of 107 lncRNAs were differentially expressed in damaged cartilage versus intact cartilage. Of these lncRNAs, 51 were upregulated and 56 were downregulated in the damaged tissue. The TMSB4 pseudogene, lncRNA-MSR, was upregulated in the damaged cartilage and was activated in chondrocytes in response to mechanical stress. Furthermore, lncRNA-MSR regulated the expression of TMSB4 by competing with miRNA-152 in chondrocytes. Our results demonstrated that upregulation of lncRNA-MSR initiates pathological changes that lead to cartilage degradation, and the inhibition of lncRNA-MSR could represent a potential therapeutic target for OA.

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