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Front Genet. 2012 Sep 25;3:191. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2012.00191. eCollection 2012.

miRNAs regulate stem cell self-renewal and differentiation.

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Research Center for Translational Medicine, Key Laboratory of Arrhythmia, East Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine Shanghai, China.


Stem cells undergo symmetric and asymmetric divisions to generate differentiated cells and more stem cells. The balance between self-renewal and differentiation of stem cells is controlled by transcription factors, epigenetic regulatory networks, and microRNAs (miRNAs). Herein the miRNA involvement in the regulation of stem cell self-renewal and differentiation is summarized. miRNA contribution to malignancy through regulating cancer stem cells is described. In addition, the reciprocal associations between miRNAs and epigenetic modifications in control of stem cell fate are discussed.


epigenetic modification; microRNA; self-renewal; stem cell

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