Dissertation defence (Cell Biology and Anatomy): MSc Matthieu Bourgery

MSc Matthieu Bourgery defends his dissertation in Cell Biology and Anatomy entitled “Small RNAs in skeletal tissue homeostasis and fracture healing” at the University of Turku on 27 May 2023 at 12.00pm (University of Turku, Medisiina C, Osmo Järvi lecture hall, Kiinamyllynkatu 10, Turku).

Opponent: Professor Hanna Taipaleenmäki (Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany)
Custos: Adjunct professor Anna-Marja Säämänen (University of Turku)

Digital copy of the thesis at UTUPub: https://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-29-9266-9 (copy the link to the browser).


Summary of the Doctoral Dissertation:

Long-bone fractures are common, especially in elderly people but also as sports-related injuries. These injuries have a considerable societal and economic impact in addition to the many facets of the patients life. Therefore, a better understanding of the basic biology of the healing process at the molecular level is needed to facilitate and improve fracture healing.

In recent years, factors that affect gene expression have been under extensive investigation and hence also noncoding RNA species have emerged as key molecules in the regulation of practically all biological processes. The role of microRNAs is well-studied and characterised as regulators of gene expression.

Transfer RNA-derived small RNAs (tsRNAs), however, are less studied, and this is the first study to describe their expression in association with normal bone biology and fracture healing. This thesis focused to determine the expression of microRNAs and tsRNAs, using next-generation sequencing, in the regulation of post-fracture events in callus tissue and serum during the first two weeks after fracture in a mouse closed tibial fracture model. The identification of miRNAs and tsRNAs is established at the fracture site (from callus samples) and in circulation (from serum samples).

Altogether, this study revealed the differential expression of 54 miRNAs and seven tsRNAs in callus tissue in comparison to intact bone while in circulation eight miRNAs and three tsRNAs were differentially expressed after fracture. The overall results indicate a clear role for miRNAs and tsRNAs as regulators of fracture healing and possibly as biomarkers in circulation.

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