MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of short RNA molecules that mediate the regulation of gene activity through interactions with target mRNAs and subsequent silencing of gene expression. It has become increasingly clear the miRNAs regulate many diverse aspects of bone biology, including bone formation and bone resorption processes. The role of miRNAs specifically in osteoclasts has been of recent investigation, due to clinical interest in discovering new paradigms to control excessive bone resorption, as is observed in multiple conditions including aging, estrogen deprivation, cancer metastases or glucocorticoid use. Therefore understanding the role that miRNAs play during osteoclastic differentiation is of critical importance. In this review, we highlight and discuss general aspects of miRNA function in osteoclasts, including exciting data demonstrating that miRNAs encapsulated in extracellular vesicles (EVs) either originating from osteoclasts, or signaling to osteoclast from divergent sites, have important roles in bone homeostasis.
- Extracellular vesicles
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism