MicroRNAs (miRNA) significantly contribute to bone formation by post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression. Mature miRNAs are generated following sequential cleavage by DROSHA/DGCR8 and DICER. However, recent studies have identified that some miRNAs require only one of these enzymes. Most studies seeking to clarify the role of miRNA during bone formation have been performed using DICER deletion strategies, but little is known regarding the role of DGCR8.
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.