Osteocytes are the terminally differentiated cell type of the osteoblastic lineage and have important functions in skeletal homeostasis. Although the transcriptional regulation of osteoblast differentiation has been well characterized, the factors that regulate differentiation of osteocytes from mature osteoblasts are poorly understood. Here we show that miR-23a∼27a∼24-2 (miR-23a cluster) promotes osteocyte differentiation.
N-cadherin inhibits osteogenic cell differentiation and canonical Wnt/β-catenin signaling in vitro. However, in vivo both conditional Cdh2 ablation and overexpression in osteoblasts lead to low bone mass. We tested the hypothesis that N-cadherin has different effects on osteolineage cells depending upon their differentiation stage. Embryonic conditional osteolineage Cdh2 deletion in mice results in defective growth, low bone mass, and reduced osteoprogenitor number.
Cellular identity in metazoan organisms is frequently established through lineage-specifying transcription factors, which control their own expression through transcriptional positive feedback, while antagonizing the developmental networks of competing lineages. Here, we have uncovered a distinct positive feedback loop that arises from the reciprocal stabilization of the tyrosine kinase ABL and the transcriptional coactivator TAZ.