A positive role of microRNA-15b on regulation of osteoblast differentiation

S. Vimalraj, Nicola C. Partridge, N. Selvamurugan

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Osteoblast differentiation is tightly regulated by several factors including microRNAs (miRNAs). In this paper, we report that pre-mir-15b is highly expressed in differentiated osteoblasts. The functional role of miR-15b in osteoblast differentiation was determined using miR-15b mimic/inhibitor and the expression of osteoblast differentiation marker genes such as alkaline phosphatase (ALP), type I collagen genes was decreased by miR-15b inhibitor. Runx2, a bone specific transcription factor is generally required for expression of osteoblast differentiation marker genes and in response to miR-15b inhibitor treatment, Runx2 mRNA expression was not changed; whereas its protein expression was decreased. Even though Smurf1 (SMAD specific E3 ubiquitin protein ligase 1), HDAC4 (histone deacetylase 4), Smad7, and Crim1 were found to be few of miR-15b's putative target genes, there was increased expression of only Smurf1 gene at mRNA and protein levels by miR-15b inhibitor. miR-15b mimic treatment significantly increased and decreased expressions of Runx2 and Smurf1 proteins, respectively. We further identified that the Smurf1 3′UTR is directly targeted by miR-15b using the luciferase reporter gene system. This is well documented that Smurf1 interacts with Runx2 and degrades it by proteasomal pathway. Hence, based on our results we suggest that miR-15b promotes osteoblast differentiation by indirectly protecting Runx2 protein from Smurf1 mediated degradation. Thus, this study identified that miR-15b can act as a positive regulator for osteoblast differentiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1236-1244
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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