MicroRNAs play important roles during cell reprogramming and differentiation. In this study, we identified the miR-497∼195 cluster, a member of the miR-15 family, as strongly upregulated with age of postnatal bone development in vivo and late differentiation stages of primary osteoblasts cultured in vitro. Early expression of miR-195-5p inhibits differentiation and mineralization. Microarray analyses along with quantitative PCR demonstrate that miR-195-5p alters the gene regulatory network of osteoblast differentiation and impairs the induction of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) responsive genes. Applying reporter gene and Western blot assays, we show that miR-195-5p interferes with the BMP/Smad-pathway in a dose-dependent manner. Systematically comparing the changes in mRNA levels in response to miR-195-5p overexpression with the changes observed in the natural course of osteoblast differentiation, we demonstrate that microRNAs of the miR-15 family affect several target genes involved in BMP signaling. Predicted targets including Furin, a protease that cleaves pro-forms, genes encoding receptors such as Acvr2a, Bmp1a, Dies1, and Tgfbr3, molecules within the cascade like Smad5, transcriptional regulators like Ski and Zfp423 as well as Mapk3 and Smurf1 were validated by quantitative PCR. Taken together, our data strongly suggest that miR-497∼195 cluster microRNAs act as intracellular antagonists of BMP signaling in bone cells.
Keywords: BMP SIGNALING; OSTEOBLAST DIFFERENTIATION; miR-15 FAMILY; miR-195; miR-497.
© 2014 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.