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The Expression and Functional Roles of miRNAs in Embryonic and Lineage-Specific Stem Cells

[ Vol. 14 , Issue. 3 ]


Maryam Farzaneh, Masoumeh Alishahi, Zahra Derakhshan, Neda H. Sarani, Farnoosh Attari and Seyed E. Khoshnam*   Pages 278 - 289 ( 12 )


The discovery of small non-coding RNAs began an interesting era in cellular and molecular biology. To date, miRNAs are the best recognized non-coding RNAs for maintenance and differentiation of pluripotent stem cells including embryonic stem cells (ES), induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC), and cancer stem cells. ES cells are defined by their ability to self-renew, teratoma formation, and to produce numerous types of differentiated cells. Dual capacity of ES cells for self-renewal and differentiation is controlled by specific interaction with the neighboring cells and intrinsic signaling pathways from the level of transcription to translation. The ES cells have been the suitable model for evaluating the function of non-coding RNAs and in specific miRNAs. So far, the general function of the miRNAs in ES cells has been assessed in mammalian and non-mammalian stem cells. Nowadays, the evolution of sequencing technology led to the discovery of numerous miRNAs in human and mouse ES cells that their expression levels significantly changes during proliferation and differentiation. Several miRNAs have been identified in ectoderm, mesoderm, and endoderm cells, as well. This review would focus on recent knowledge about the expression and functional roles of miRNAs in embryonic and lineage-specific stem cells. It also describes that miRNAs might have essential roles in orchestrating the Waddington's landscape structure during development.


Non-coding RNAs, microRNAs, stem cells, embryonic stem cells, lineage-specific stem cells, animal cells.


Department of Stem Cells and Developmental Biology, Cell Science Research Center, Royan Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Technology, ACECR, Tehran, Department of Biology, Tehran North Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Department of Reproductive Biology, School of Advanced Medical Sciences and Technologies, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Faculty of Paramedical, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Department of Animal Biology, School of Biology, College of Science, University of Tehran, Tehran, Physiology Research Center, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz

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