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Archives of biochemistry and biophysics

Mir-20a regulates in vitro mineralization and BMP signaling pathway by targeting BMP-2 transcript in fish.


PMID 24361749

Abstract

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are important regulators of vertebrate development but their role during skeletogenesis remains unknown. In this regard, we investigated the mineralogenic activity of miR-20a, a miRNA associated with osteogenesis, in fish bone-derived cells. Expression of miR-20a was up-regulated during differentiation and its overexpression inhibited mineralization, suggesting a role in fish tissue calcification. In this regard, a conserved miR-20a binding site was identified in bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP-2) 3'UTR and its functionality was evidenced through luciferase assays, and further confirmed by western-blot and qPCR. Type II BMP receptor (BMPR2) is also targeted by miR-20a in mammalian systems and evidence was collected for the presence of a binding site in fish sequences. We propose that miR-20a is a regulator of BMP pathway through specific action on BMP-2 and possibly BMPR2. Overexpression of miR-20a was also shown to up-regulate matrix Gla protein (MGP) transcript, a physiological inhibitor of calcification previously found to form a complex with BMP-2. We propose that MGP may play a role in the anti-mineralogenic effect promoted by miR-20a by decreasing availability of BMP-2. This study gives new insights into miRNA-mediated regulation of BMP-2, and sheds light into the potential role of miR-20a as a regulator of skeletogenesis.