Transcriptional profiling of murine osteoblast differentiation based on RNA-seq expression analyses.
Osteoblastic differentiation is a multistep process characterized by osteogenic induction of mesenchymal stem cells, which then differentiate into proliferative pre-osteoblasts that produce copious amounts of extracellular matrix, followed by stiffening of the extracellular matrix, and matrix mineralization by hydroxylapatite deposition. Although these processes have been well characterized biologically, a detailed transcriptional analysis of murine primary calvaria osteoblast differentiation based on RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) analyses has not previously been reported. Here, we used RNA-seq to obtain expression values of 29,148 genes at four time points as murine primary calvaria osteoblasts differentiate in vitro until onset of mineralization was clearly detectable by microscopic inspection. Expression of marker genes confirmed osteogenic differentiation. We explored differential expression of 1386 protein-coding genes using unsupervised clustering and GO analyses. 100 differentially expressed lncRNAs were investigated by co-expression with protein-coding genes that are localized within the same topologically associated domain. Additionally, we monitored expression of 237 genes that are silent or active at distinct time points and compared differential exon usage. Our data represent an in-depth profiling of murine primary calvaria osteoblast differentiation by RNA-seq and contribute to our understanding of genetic regulation of this key process in osteoblast biology. Bone 2018 Apr 10 [Epub ahead of print]