Micrornas modulate signaling pathways in osteogenic differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells

Chiara Mazziotta, Carmen Lanzillotti, Maria Rosa Iaquinta, Francesca Taraballi, Elena Torreggiani, John Charles Rotondo, Lucia Otòn-Gonzalez, Elisa Mazzoni, Francesca Frontini, Ilaria Bononi, Monica De Mattei, Mauro Tognon, Fernanda Martini

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been identified in many adult tissues and they have been closely studied in recent years, especially in view of their potential use for treating diseases and damaged tissues and organs. MSCs are capable of self-replication and differentiation into osteoblasts and are considered an important source of cells in tissue engineering for bone regeneration. Several epigenetic factors are believed to play a role in the osteogenic differentiation of MSCs, including microRNAs (miRNAs). MiRNAs are small, single-stranded, non-coding RNAs of approximately 22 nucleotides that are able to regulate cell proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis by binding the 3 untranslated region (3-UTR) of target mRNAs, which can be subsequently degraded or translationally silenced. MiRNAs control gene expression in osteogenic differentiation by regulating two crucial signaling cascades in osteogenesis: the transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β)/bone morphogenic protein (BMP) and the Wingless/Int-1(Wnt)/β-catenin signaling pathways. This review provides an overview of the miRNAs involved in osteogenic differentiation and how these miRNAs could regulate the expression of target genes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2362
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1 2021


  • Bone
  • Bone regeneration
  • Cell differentiation
  • MSCs
  • Mesenchymal stem cells
  • MiRNA
  • MiRNAome
  • MicroRNA
  • Osteogenesis
  • Osteogenic differentiation
  • Stem cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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