MiR-422a as a potential cellular microRNA biomarker for postmenopausal osteoporosis

Zheng Cao, Benjamin T. Moore, Yang Wang, Xian Hao Peng, Joan M. Lappe, Robert R. Recker, Peng Xiao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


Background: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of short non-coding RNA molecules that regulate gene expression by targeting mRNAs. Recently, miRNAs have been shown to play important roles in the etiology of various diseases. However, little is known about their roles in the development of osteoporosis. Circulating monocytes are osteoclast precursors that also produce various factors important for osteoclastogenesis. Previously, we have identified a potential biomarker miR-133a in circulating monocytes for postmenopausal osteoporosis. In this study, we aimed to further identify significant miRNA biomarkers in human circulating monocytes underlying postmenopausal osteoporosis. Methodology/Principal Findings: We used ABI TaqMan miRNA array followed by qRT-PCR validation in human circulating monocytes from 10 high BMD and 10 low BMD postmenopausal Caucasian women to identify miRNA biomarkers. MiR-422a was up-regulated with marginal significance (P = 0.065) in the low compared with the high BMD group in the array analysis. However, a significant up-regulation of miR-422a was identified in the low BMD group by qRT-PCR analysis (P = 0.029). We also performed bioinformatic target gene analysis and found several potential target genes of miR-422a which are involved in osteoclastogenesis. Further qRT-PCR analyses of the target genes in the same study subjects showed that the expression of five of these genes (CBL, CD226, IGF1, PAG1, and TOB2) correlated negatively with miR-422a expression. Conclusions/Significance: Our study suggests that miR-422a in human circulating monocytes (osteoclast precursors) is a potential miRNA biomarker underlying postmenopausal osteoporosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere97098
JournalPloS one
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 12 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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