Bone remodeling and regeneration are highly regulated multistep processes involving posttranscriptional regulation by microRNAs (miRNAs). Here, we performed a global profiling of differentially expressed miRNAs in bone-marrow-derived skeletal cells (BMSCs; also known as stromal or mesenchymal stem cells) during in vitro osteoblast differentiation. We functionally validated the regulatory effects of several miRNAs on osteoblast differentiation and identified 15 miRNAs, most significantly miR-222 and miR-423, as regulators of osteoblastogenesis. In addition, we tested the possible targeting of miRNAs for enhancing bone tissue regeneration. Scaffolds functionalized with miRNA nano-carriers enhanced osteoblastogenesis in 3D culture and retained this ability at least 2 weeks after storage. Additionally, anti-miR-222 enhanced in vivo ectopic bone formation through targeting the cell-cycle inhibitor CDKN1B (cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1B). A number of additional miRNAs exerted additive osteoinductive effects on BMSC differentiation, suggesting that pools of miRNAs delivered locally from an implanted scaffold can provide a promising approach for enhanced bone regeneration.
Keywords: RNAi therapeutics; bone regeneration; cell cycle regulation; mesenchymal stem cells; miRNA profiling; miRNAs; osteogenesis; scaffold; small RNA-seq; tissue engineering.
Copyright © 2017 The American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.