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Semin Cancer Biol. 2012 Oct;22(5-6):428-36. doi: 10.1016/j.semcancer.2012.04.009. Epub 2012 May 4.

Embryonic stem cell miRNAs and their roles in development and disease.

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Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Cancer Biology and Genetics Program, New York, NY 10065, United States.


MicroRNAs have emerged as important modulators of gene expression. Both during development and disease, regulation by miRNAs controls the choice between self-renewal and differentiation, survival and apoptosis and dictates how cells respond to external stimuli. In mouse pluripotent embryonic stem cells, a surprisingly small set of miRNAs, encoded by four polycistronic genes is at the center of such decisions. miR-290-295, miR-302-367, miR-17-92 and miR-106b-25 encode for miRNAs with highly related sequences that seem to control largely overlapping gene sets. Recent studies have highlighted the importance of these miRNAs in the maintenance of 'stemness' and regulation of normal development and have linked the deregulation of their expression to a variety of human diseases.

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