The study reports a theranostic nature of rno-miR-300 (miR300) in the osteoblast functioning, by influencing the signaling pathway(s), associated with osteoblast differentiation. Excessive expression of miR300 suppresses osteoblast functions. Smad3 served as a validated target for miR300, on homology-based computational analysis and experimental testimony, which activates β-catenin, and subsequently potentiates Runx2. The impact of miR300 on the Smad3/β-catenin/Runx2 signaling interactions in the induction of osteoblast differentiation was scrutinized by immunocytochemistry, immunoblotting and in vivo miRNA antagonism. Overexpression of miR300 in the rat calvarial osteoblasts decreases the protein levels of Smad3, β-catenin and Runx2. Besides, in vivo silencing of miR300 in the neonatal pups and adult rats by AntimiR300 abolishes the suppressing action of miR300 on the osteoblast differentiation and expressions of Smad3/β-catenin/Runx2 axis. MicroCT studies showed improved trabecular microarchitecture in the AntimiR300 transfected ovariectomised rat model compared to sham and negative control. Furthermore, expression levels of miR300 were evaluated in serum samples from an independent set of 30 osteoporotic patients followed by a Receiver Operating Characteristic Curve (ROC) based analysis for the diagnostic efficiency of miR300. Interestingly, the results exhibited high levels of miR300 (p<0.0001) in the serum samples from osteoporotic patients relative to non-osteoporotic subjects (AUC=0.9689). Thus, miR300 negatively regulates the differentiation of osteoblasts by targeting crosstalk among Smad3, β-catenin and Runx2, unveiling an enormous ability to serve as a therapeutic target for bone-related disorder management strategies. Besides, miR300 may potentially function for the diagnosis of osteoporosis as a non-invasive biomarker.
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