MicroRNAs and post-transcriptional regulation of skeletal development

    1. Francesc Ventura
    1. Departament de Ciències Fisiològiques II, Universitat de Barcelona, IDIBELL, C/Feixa Llarga s/n, E-08907 L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Spain
    1. Correspondence should be addressed to F Ventura; Email: fventura{at}ub.edu


    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have become integral nodes of post-transcriptional control of genes that confer cellular identity and regulate differentiation. Cell-specific signaling and transcriptional regulation in skeletal biology are extremely dynamic processes that are highly reliant on dose-dependent responses. As such, skeletal cell-determining genes are ideal targets for quantitative regulation by miRNAs. So far, large amounts of evidence have revealed a characteristic temporal miRNA signature in skeletal cell differentiation and confirmed the essential roles that numerous miRNAs play in bone development and homeostasis. In addition, microarray expression data have provided evidence for their role in several skeletal pathologies. Mouse models in which their expression is altered have provided evidence of causal links between miRNAs and bone abnormalities. Thus, a detailed understanding of the function of miRNAs and their tight relationship with bone diseases would constitute a powerful tool for early diagnosis and future therapeutic approaches.

    • Revision received 5 February 2014
    • Accepted 12 February 2014
    • Made available online as an Accepted Preprint 12 February 2014
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