The functions of microRNAs and long non-coding RNAs in embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells

Wenwen Jia, Wen Chen, Jiuhong Kang
Genomics, Proteomics & Bioinformatics 2013, 11 (5): 275-83
Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) hold immense promise for regenerative medicine due to their abilities to self-renew and to differentiate into all cell types. This unique property is controlled by a complex interplay between transcriptional factors and epigenetic regulators. Recent research indicates that the epigenetic role of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) is an integral component of this regulatory network. This report will summarize findings that focus on two classes of regulatory ncRNAs, microRNAs (miRNAs) and long ncRNAs (lncRNAs), in the induction, maintenance and directed differentiation of ESCs and iPSCs. Manipulating these two important types of ncRNAs would be crucial to unlock the therapeutic and research potential of pluripotent stem cells.

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