MicroRNA and Human Bone Health

JBMR Plus. 2018 Nov 5;3(1):2-13. doi: 10.1002/jbm4.10115. eCollection 2019 Jan.


The small non-coding microRNAs (miRNAs) are post-transcription regulators that modulate diverse cellular process in bone cells. Because optimal miRNA targeting is essential for their function, single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within or proximal to the loci of miRNA (miR-SNPs) or mRNA (PolymiRTS) could potentially disrupt the miRNA-mRNA interaction, leading to changes in bone metabolism and osteoporosis. Recent human studies of skeletal traits using miRNA profiling, genomewide association studies, and functional studies started to decipher the complex miRNA regulatory network. These studies have indicated that miRNAs may be a promising bone marker. This review focuses on human miRNA studies on bone traits and discusses how genetic variants affect bone metabolic pathways. Major ex vivo investigations using human samples supported with animal and in vitro models have shed light on the mechanistic role of miRNAs. Furthermore, studying the miRNAs' signatures in secondary osteoporosis and osteoporotic medications such as teriparatide (TPTD) and denosumab (DMab) have provided valuable insight into clinical management of the disease. © 2018 The Authors. JBMR Plus Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.


Publication types

  • Review