The functions of microRNAs in pluripotency and reprogramming

1] Department of Chemical Physiology, The Scripps Research Institute and the Center for Regenerative Medicine, La Jolla, California 92037, USA [2].
Nature Cell Biology (Impact Factor: 19.68). 11/2012; 14(11):1114-21. DOI: 10.1038/ncb2613
Source: PubMed


Pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) express a distinctive set of microRNAs (miRNAs). Many of these miRNAs have similar targeting sequences and are predicted to regulate downstream targets cooperatively. These enriched miRNAs are involved in the regulation of the unique PSC cell cycle, and there is increasing evidence that they also influence other important characteristics of PSCs, including their morphology, epigenetic profile and resistance to apoptosis. Detailed studies of miRNAs and their targets in PSCs should help to parse the regulatory networks that underlie developmental processes and cellular reprogramming.

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    • "In fact, although the proportion of miRNAs was also high in spermatogonia cells, we observed a decrease in miRNA reads with respect to PGC. This suggests a correlation between abundance of miRNA and cell self-renewal processes and pluripotency (Leonardo et al. 2012; Choi et al. 2013). "
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    • "These genes have been clubbed together in a general class popularly known as noncoding RNAs (ncRNA). Many members of the ncRNA class such as microRNAs (miRNAs) have been extensively studied for their regulatory roles in a variety of cellular processes [Holley and Topkara, 2011; Leonardo et al., 2012; Mo, 2012] and disease mechanisms [Amiel et al., 2012]. Others of the class, such as snoRNAs have been explored for their roles in base modifications [Askarian-Amiri et al., 2011; Holley and Topkara, 2011; Liao et al., 2010]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Non-protein coding RNAs have increasingly been shown to be an important class of regulatory RNAs having significant roles in regulation of gene expression. The long non-coding RNA gene family presently constitutes a large number of noncoding RNA loci almost equalling the number of protein-coding genes. Nevertheless the biological roles and mechanisms of majority of long noncoding RNAs are poorly understood, with exceptions of a very few well studied candidates. The availability of genome-scale variation datasets, and increasing number of variant loci from genome-wide association studies falling in lncRNA loci have motivated us to understand the patterns of genomic variations in lncRNA loci, their potential functional correlates and selection in populations. In the present study, we have performed a comprehensive analysis of genomic variations in lncRNA loci. We analysed for patterns and distributions of genomic variations with respect to potential functional domains in lncRNAs. Analysis reveals a distinct distribution of variations in sub-classes of long noncoding RNAs and in potential functional domains of lncRNAs. We further examined signals of selections and allele frequencies of these prioritised set of lncRNAs. To the best of our knowledge this is the first and comprehensive large-scale analysis of genetic variations in long noncoding RNAs. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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    • "Their profiles unambiguously distinguish cell types, including embryonic stem cells [13,14], a vast variety of precursor cells, terminally differentiated cells, and tumor types, even among closely related cancers [15]. miRNAs play important functional roles in stem cells, including the regulation of pluripotency, self-renewal and reprogramming of somatic cells (reviewed in [16]). "
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