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Cell. 2008 Aug 8;134(3):521-33. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2008.07.020.

Connecting microRNA genes to the core transcriptional regulatory circuitry of embryonic stem cells.

Author information

  • 1Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, 9 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA.

Abstract

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are crucial for normal embryonic stem (ES) cell self-renewal and cellular differentiation, but how miRNA gene expression is controlled by the key transcriptional regulators of ES cells has not been established. We describe here the transcriptional regulatory circuitry of ES cells that incorporates protein-coding and miRNA genes based on high-resolution ChIP-seq data, systematic identification of miRNA promoters, and quantitative sequencing of short transcripts in multiple cell types. We find that the key ES cell transcription factors are associated with promoters for miRNAs that are preferentially expressed in ES cells and with promoters for a set of silent miRNA genes. This silent set of miRNA genes is co-occupied by Polycomb group proteins in ES cells and shows tissue-specific expression in differentiated cells. These data reveal how key ES cell transcription factors promote the ES cell miRNA expression program and integrate miRNAs into the regulatory circuitry controlling ES cell identity.

PMID:
18692474
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2586071
Free PMC Article

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