Inherited bone disorders account for about 10% of documented Mendelian disorders and are associated with high financial burden. Their study requires osteoblasts which play a critical role in regulating the development and maintenance of bone tissue. However, bone tissue is not always available from patients. We developed a highly efficient platelet lysate-based approach to directly transdifferentiate skin-derived human fibroblasts to osteoblast-like cells. We extensively characterized our in vitro model by examining the expression of osteoblast-specific markers during the transdifferentiation process both at the mRNA and protein level. The transdifferentiated osteoblast-like cells showed significantly increased expression of a panel of osteogenic markers. Mineral deposition and ALP activity were also shown, confirming their osteogenic properties. RNA-seq analysis allowed the global study of changes in the transcriptome of the transdifferentiated cells. The transdifferentiated cells clustered separately from the primary fibroblasts with regard to the significantly upregulated genes indicating a distinct transcriptome profile; transdifferentiated osteoblasts also showed significant enrichment in gene expression related to skeletal development and bone mineralization. Our presented in vitro model may potentially contribute to the prospect of studying osteoblast-dependent disorders in patient-derived cells.
Original languageEnglish
Article number14686
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2022

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