Published online Jan 26, 2022. doi: 10.4252/wjsc.v14.i1.92
Peer-review started: February 26, 2021
First decision: June 16, 2021
Revised: July 7, 2021
Accepted: January 5, 2022
Article in press: January 5, 2022
Published online: January 26, 2022
Bone is a complex tissue that undergoes constant remodeling to maintain homeostasis, which requires coordinated multilineage differentiation and proper proliferation of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs). Mounting evidence indicates that a disturbance of bone homeostasis can trigger degenerative bone diseases, including osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. In addition to conventional genetic modifications, epigenetic modifications (i.e., DNA methylation, histone modifications, and the expression of noncoding RNAs) are considered to be contributing factors that affect bone homeostasis. Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) were previously regarded as ‘transcriptional noise’ with no biological functions. However, substantial evidence suggests that lncRNAs have roles in the epigenetic regulation of biological processes in MSCs and related diseases. In this review, we summarized the interactions between lncRNAs and epigenetic modifiers associated with osteo-/adipogenic differentiation of MSCs and the pathogenesis of degenerative bone diseases and highlighted promising lncRNA-based diagnostic and therapeutic targets for bone diseases.
Core Tip: In this review, we summarized the roles of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) played in mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) differentiation and common degenerative bone diseases through reciprocal interactions between lncRNAs and epigenetic modifiers, focusing on the most common epigenetic mechanisms: DNA methylation and histone modifications. It is our hope that this review may provide an updated summary that sheds light on the lncRNA-based precise regulation of the MSC differentiation process and highlights possible therapeutic targets of degenerative bone diseases.