Osteoarthritis (OA), the most common aging-related joint disease, is caused by an imbalance between extracellular matrix synthesis and degradation. Here, we discover that both strands of microRNA-455 (miR-455), -5p and -3p, are up-regulated by Sox9, an essential transcription factor for cartilage differentiation and function. Both miR-455-5p and -3p are highly expressed in human chondrocytes from normal articular cartilage and in mouse primary chondrocytes. We generate miR-455 knockout mice, and find that cartilage degeneration mimicking OA and elevated expression of cartilage degeneration-related genes are observed at 6-months-old. Using a cell-based miRNA target screening system, we identify hypoxia-inducible factor-2α (HIF-2α), a catabolic factor for cartilage homeostasis, as a direct target of both miR-455-5p and -3p. In addition, overexpression of both miR-455-5p and -3p protect cartilage degeneration in a mouse OA model, demonstrating their potential therapeutic value. Furthermore, knockdown of HIF-2α in 6-month-old miR-455 knockout cartilage rescues the elevated expression of cartilage degeneration-related genes. These data demonstrate that both strands of a miRNA target the same gene to regulate articular cartilage homeostasis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)