Large noncoding RNAs are promising regulators in embryonic stem cells

Ya-Pu Li, Yangming Wang
Journal of Genetics and Genomics 2015 March 20, 42 (3): 99-105
Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) hold great promises for treating and studying numerous devastating diseases. The molecular basis of their potential is not completely understood. Large noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are an important class of gene regulators that play essential roles in a variety of physiologic and pathologic processes. Dozens of lncRNAs are now identified to control ESC self-renewal and differentiation. Research on lncRNAs may provide novel insights into manipulating the cell fate or reprogramming somatic cells into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). In this review, we summarize the recent research efforts in identifying functional lncRNAs and understanding how they act in ESCs, and discuss various future directions of this field.

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