lncRNA Rmst acts as an important mediator of BMP9-induced osteogenic differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) by antagonizing Notch-targeting microRNAs

Aging (Albany NY). 2019 Dec 11;11(24):12476-12496. doi: 10.18632/aging.102583. Epub 2019 Dec 11.


Understanding the bone and musculoskeletal system is essential to maintain the health and quality of life of our aging society. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can undergo self-renewal and differentiate into multiple tissue types including bone. We demonstrated that BMP9 is the most potent osteogenic factors although molecular mechanism underlying BMP9 action is not fully understood. Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) play important regulatory roles in many physiological and/or pathologic processes. Here, we investigated the role of lncRNA Rmst in BMP9-induced osteogenic differentiation of MSCs. We found that Rmst was induced by BMP9 through Smad signaling in MSCs. Rmst knockdown diminished BMP9-induced osteogenic, chondrogenic and adipogenic differentiation in vitro, and attenuated BMP9-induced ectopic bone formation. Silencing Rmst decreased the expression of Notch receptors and ligands. Bioinformatic analysis predicted Rmst could directly bind to eight Notch-targeting miRNAs, six of which were downregulated by BMP9. Silencing Rmst restored the expression of four microRNAs (miRNAs). Furthermore, an activating Notch mutant NICD1 effectively rescued the decreased ALP activity caused by Rmst silencing. Collectively, our results strongly suggest that the Rmst-miRNA-Notch regulatory axis may play an important role in mediating BMP9-induced osteogenic differentiation of MSCs.

Keywords: BMP9; lncRNA Rmst; long noncoding RNAs; mesenchymal stem cells; miRNAs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Differentiation
  • Growth Differentiation Factor 2 / genetics
  • Growth Differentiation Factor 2 / metabolism*
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Osteogenesis / physiology*
  • RNA, Long Noncoding*
  • Receptors, Notch / genetics
  • Receptors, Notch / metabolism*
  • Transfection


  • GDF2 protein, human
  • Growth Differentiation Factor 2
  • RNA, Long Noncoding
  • Receptors, Notch