Fibrous dysplasia (FD) is a rare bone disease caused by activating mutations of GNAS encoding the Gsα protein, enhancing cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) production by overstimulation of adenylyl cyclase and impairing osteoblastic differentiation. The clinical presentation ranges from asymptomatic to polyostotic forms with severe disability, explained by the mosaic distribution of the GNAS mutation. Physicians have to deal with the gap of knowledge in FD pathogenesis, the absence of prognostic markers and the lack of specific treatment. The identification of specific biomarkers for FD is an important step to improve the clinical and therapeutic approaches. An epigenetic regulation driven by microRNAs (miRNAs), known as promising biomarkers in bone disease, could be involved in FD. We have sought circulating miRNAs that are differentially expressed in FD patients compared to controls and would reflect dysregulations of osteogenesis‐related genes and bone disorder. The global miRNA profiling was performed using Next Generation Sequencing in patient serum collected from a discovery cohort of 20 patients (10 polyostotic and 10 monostotic) and 10 controls. From these, we selected 19 miRNAs for a miRNA validation phase from serum of 82 patients and 82 controls, using real‐time qPCR. Discovery screening identified 111 miRNAs differentially expressed in patient serum, after adjusting for the false discovery rate (FDR). Among the 82 patients, 55% were polyostotic, and 73% were women with a mean age of 42 years. Six miRNAs (miR‐25‐3p, miR‐93‐5p, miR‐182‐5p, miR‐324‐5p, miR‐363‐3p, and miR‐451a) were significantly overexpressed in serum, with FDR <0.05. The expression level of these six miRNAs was not associated with the FD severity. In conclusion, we identified a signature of circulating miRNAs associated with FD. These miRNAs are potential negative regulators of gene expression in bone cell progenitors, suggesting their activity in FD by interfering with osteoblastic and osteoclastic differentiation to impair bone mineralization and remodeling processes.
MCCUNE‐ALBRIGHT SYNDROME; FIBROUS DYSPLASIA OF BONE; GNAS; EPIGENETIC; MICRORNAS