Long noncoding RNA MALAT1 promotes osterix expression to regulate osteogenic differentiation by targeting miRNA-143 in human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells

Gao Y1, Xiao F1, Wang C1, Wang C1, Cui P1, Zhang X1, Chen X1.

J Cell Biochem. 2018 May 9. doi: 10.1002/jcb.26907. [Epub ahead of print]

Abstract
Osteogenic differentiation of human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hBMSCs) is essential for the human bone formation, and emerging evidence shows that long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) play important roles in hBMSC osteogenic differentiation. MALAT1 is often regarded as a tumor-related lncRNA, but its function in mesenchymal stem cell differentiation remains to be defined. In this study, we aimed to investigate whether MALAT1 regulates Osterix (Osx) expression by sponging miR-143 to promote hBMSC osteogenic differentiation. Firstly, we found that the expression of MALAT1 was much lower in hBMSCs from osteoporosis patients and miR-143 was contrarily higher. In addition, MALAT1 expression increased, and miR-143 decreased when hBMSCs were treated with osteogenic induction. Then, we used short hairpin RNAs to knockdown MALAT1, and the results showed that hBMSC osteogenic differentiation decreased significantly, indicating that MALAT1 is a positive regulator of osteogenic differentiation in hBMSCs. Furthermore, by luciferase assays, we found that MALAT1 could directly bind to miR-143 and negatively regulate its expression. Similarly, miR-143 could directly bind to the target site on the Osx 3′-UTR and then inhibit Osx expression. Knockdown of MALAT1 decreased Osx expression, and co-transfection of miR-143 inhibitor could rescue Osx mRNA expression. While Osx expression was increased in MALAT1-overexpressing hBMSCs, it was reversed by the miR-143 mimics. Moreover, Osx silencing decreased ALP, OCN, and OPN mRNA expression induced by the miR-143 inhibitor. Altogether, our findings suggest that MALAT1 acts to regulate Osx expression through targeting miR-143; thus, it is considered as a positive regulator in hBMSC osteogenic differentiation.

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