Expression of long noncoding RNA Xist is induced by glucocorticoids

Yun Su, Xing Chen, Hongyan Zhou, Sean Shaw, Jie Chen, Carlos M. Isales, Jing Zhao, Xingming Shi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Glucocorticoids (GCs) are potent anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive agents. However, their clinical usage is limited by severe multisystemic side effects. Glucocorticoid induced osteoporosis results in significant morbidity and mortality but the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying GC-induced bone loss are not clear. GC use results in decreased osteoblast differentiation with increased marrow adiposity through effects on bone marrow stem cells. GC effects are transduced through its receptor (GR). To identify novel GR regulated genes, we performed RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) analysis comparing conditional GR knockout mouse made by crossing the floxed GR animal with the Col I promoter-Cre, versus normal floxed GR without Cre, and that testing was specific for Col I promoter active cells, such as bone marrow mesenchymal stem/osteoprogenitor cells (MSCs) and osteoblasts. Results showed 15 upregulated genes (3- to 10-fold) and 70 downregulated genes (-2.7- to -10-fold), with the long noncoding RNA X-inactive specific transcript (Xist) downregulated the most. The differential expression of genes measured by RNA-Seq was validated by qRT-PCR analysis of selected genes and the GC/GR signaling-dependent expression of Xist was further demonstrated by GC (dexamethasone) treatment of GR-deficient MSCs in vitro and by GC injection of C57BL/6 mice (wild-type males and females) in vivo. Our data revealed that the long noncoding RNA Xist is a GR regulated gene and its expression is induced by GC both in vitro and in vivo. To our knowledge, this is the first evidence showing that Xist is transcriptionally regulated by GC/GR signaling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1005944
JournalFrontiers in Endocrinology
StatePublished - Sep 14 2022


  • MSC
  • Xist
  • differential expression
  • glucocorticoid
  • glucocorticoid receptor
  • long noncoding (lnc) RNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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