MicroRNA-Mediated Reprogramming of Somatic Cells into Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Shelley E S Sandmaier, Bhanu Prakash V L Telugu
Methods in Molecular Biology 2015, 1330: 29-36
MicroRNAs or miRNAs belong to a class of small noncoding RNAs that play a crucial role in posttranscriptional regulation of gene expression. Nascent miRNAs are expressed as a longer transcript, which are then processed into a smaller 18-23-nucleotide mature miRNAs that bind to the target transcripts and induce cleavage or inhibit translation. MiRNAs therefore represent another key regulator of gene expression in establishing and maintaining unique cellular fate. Several classes of miRNAs have been identified to be uniquely expressed in embryonic stem cells (ESC) and regulated by the core transcription factors Oct4, Sox2, and Klf4. One such class of miRNAs is the mir-302/367 cluster that is enriched in pluripotent cells in vivo and in vitro. Using the mir-302/367 either by themselves or in combination with the Yamanaka reprogramming factors (Oct4, Sox2, c-Myc, and Klf4) has resulted in the establishment of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) with high efficiencies. In this chapter, we outline the methodologies for establishing and utilizing the miRNA-based tools for reprogramming somatic cells into iPSC.

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