Matrix remodeling associated 7 promotes differentiation of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells toward osteoblasts

Zhishuai Zhou, Ying Shen, Juanjuan Yin, Feng Xi, Renjie Xu, Dandan Lin, Saijilafu, Jianquan Chen, Yiqiang Wang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The matrix remodeling associated 7 (MXRA7) gene had been ill-studied and its biology remained to be discovered. Inspired by our previous findings and public datasets concerning MXRA7, we hypothesized that the MXRA7 gene might be involved in bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) functions related to bone formation, which was checked by utilizing in vivo or in vitro methodologies. Micro-computed tomography of MXRA7-deficient mice demonstrated retarded osteogenesis, which was reflected by shorter femurs, lower bone mass in both trabecular and cortical bones compared with wild-type (WT) mice. Histology confirmed the osteopenia-like feature including thinner growth plates in MXRA7-deficient femurs. Immunofluorescence revealed less osteoblasts in MXRA7-deficient femurs. Polymerase chain reaction or western blot analysis showed that when WT BMSCs were induced to differentiate toward osteoblasts or adipocytes in culture, MXRA7 messenger RNA or protein levels were significantly increased alongside osteoblasts induction, but decreased upon adipocytes induction. Cultured MXRA7-deficient BMSCs showed decreased osteogenesis upon osteogenic differentiation induction as reflected by decreased calcium deposition or lower expression of genes responsible for osteogenesis. When recombinant MXRA7 proteins were supplemented in a culture of MXRA7-deficient BMSCs, osteogenesis or gene expression was fully restored. Upon osteoblast induction, the level of active β-catenin or phospho-extracellular signal-regulated kinase in MXRA7-deficient BMSCs was decreased compared with that in WT BMSCs, and these impairments could be rescued by recombinant MXRA7 proteins. In adipogenesis induction settings, the potency of MXRA7-deficient BMSCs to differentiate into adipocytes was increased over the WT ones. In conclusion, this study demonstrated that MXRA7 influences bone formation via regulating the balance between osteogenesis and adipogenesis in BMSCs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18053-18064
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells
  • matrix remodeling associated 7
  • osteoblast differentiation


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