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Mol Med Rep. 2017 May;15(5):2473-2480. doi: 10.3892/mmr.2017.6308. Epub 2017 Mar 9.

Vitamin K2 promotes mesenchymal stem cell differentiation by inhibiting miR‑133a expression.

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Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Shanghai Jiao Tong University Affiliated Sixth People's Hospital, Shanghai 200233, P.R. China.


Vitamin K2 has been demonstrated to promote the osteogenic differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells; however, the mechanisms underlying this effect remain unclear. As microRNA (miR)‑133a has been identified as a negative regulator of osteogenic differentiation, the present study hypothesized that vitamin K2 promoted osteogenesis by inhibiting miR‑133a. Using human bone marrow stromal cells (hBMSCs) overexpressing miR‑133a, or a control, the expression levels of osteogenesis‑associated proteins, including runt‑related transcription factor 2, alkaline phosphatase and osteocalcin, were analyzed. miR‑133a significantly suppressed the osteogenic differentiation of hBMSCs. To determine the effect of vitamin K2 on miR‑133a expression and osteogenesis, hBMSCs were treated with vitamin K2. Vitamin K2 inhibited miR‑133a expression, which was accompanied by enhanced osteogenic differentiation. Furthermore, the expression levels of vitamin K epoxide reductase complex subunit 1, the key protein in γ‑carboxylation, were downregulated by miR‑133a overexpression and upregulated by vitamin K2 treatment, indicating a positive feedback on γ‑carboxylation. The results of the present study suggested that vitamin K2 targets miR‑133a to regulate osteogenesis.

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