The microRNA-23a cluster regulates the developmental HoxA cluster function during osteoblast differentiation

Academic Article


  • MicroRNAs (miRs) and Hox transcription factors have decisive roles in postnatal bone formation and homeostasis. In silico analysis identified extensive interaction between HOXA cluster mRNA and microRNAs from the miR-23a cluster. However, Hox regulation by the miR-23a cluster during osteoblast differentiation remains undefined. We examined this regulation in preosteoblasts and in a novel miR-23a cluster knockdown mouse model. Overexpression and knockdown of the miR-23a cluster in preosteoblasts decreased and increased, respectively, the expression of the proteins HOXA5, HOXA10, and HOXA11; these proteins’ mRNAs exhibited significant binding with the miR-23a cluster miRNAs, and miRNA 3’-UTR reporter assays confirmed repression. Importantly, during periods correlating with development and differentiation of bone cells, we found an inverse pattern of expression between HoxA factors and members of the miR-23a cluster. HOXA5 and HOXA11 bound to bone-specific promoters, physically interacted with transcription factor RUNX2, and regulated bone-specific genes. Depletion of HOXA5 or HOXA11 in preosteoblasts also decreased cellular differentiation. Additionally, stable overexpression of the miR-23a cluster in osteoblasts decreased the recruitment of HOXA5 and HOXA11 to osteoblast gene promoters, significantly inhibiting histone H3 acetylation. Heterozygous miR-23a cluster knockdown female mice (miR-23a ClWT/ZIP) had significantly increased trabecular bone mass when compared with WT mice. Furthermore, miR-23a cluster knockdown in calvarial osteoblasts of these mice increased the recruitment of HOXA5 and HOXA11, with a substantial enrichment of promoter histone H3 acetylation. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that the miR-23a cluster is required for maintaining stage-specific HoxA factor expression during osteogenesis.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 2039421
  • Author List

  • Godfrey TC; Wildman BJ; Beloti MM; Kemper AG; Ferraz EP; Roy B; Rehan M; Afreen LH; Kim E; Lengner CJ
  • Start Page

  • 17646
  • End Page

  • 17660
  • Volume

  • 293
  • Issue

  • 45